tv Public Affairs CSPAN November 27, 2012 1:00pm-5:00pm EST
respect for the integrity and independence of iraq. so that meant that the action team could not go to nondeclared facility, only declared facilities could be inspected. but that -- then the security council farmed out that right to break the idea of integrity to the unscom so the unscom was charged with identifying nondeclared facilities and activities, and then it worked in a very good cooperation. of course then it was obviously chemical, biological. . its tough sanction system was in place. but immediately when the inspection started, the sanction system was gradually
released. so this was a functioning system, good behavior led to the sanctions, bad behavior, we happened of course quite frequently. some refusals was met by -- met by some tough language from the security council. not from the government, israel or anyone. it was the security council under the charter of the united nations that put that pressure. of course we know that this system worked extremely well. it was 100% performance as a matter of fact. it's not bad for any u.n. organization to get the task and then i think it's probably the only one which succeeded to make it 100% performance. so the -- that means that both destruction capabilities and the monetary capabilities were
forcefully placed. so everything looked shiny and fine until the u.s. government -- it was in spring of 1997, through madeline albright made the statement at george mason university, well, it looks like sanctions are -- disarmament is going well. if it goes well we can still not lift the sanctions which was a condition under the security council. sanctions -- so we can't lift the sanctions until saddam hussein is removed. so that came my obsession with the regime change. that, of course, destroyed in the sense the institution and operations. so i think that experience -- could havi annan led the group to see if they can re-establish something similar and this
report of which has not been very much observed. i think we have ideas for iran. that will give really intrusive inspections. it will give the right for the international community to go where there is concern. not where iran is declaring. but then to pay for that is to lift the sanctions. and then we can have an outcome. and let the iranian people take care of it. it's not for the outside to do the regime change. >> thank you. we'll take a question or two from the reporters in the front row and then go to question from the audience. if you could just identify yourself and direct your question to a particular person. >> sure. barbara from the atlantic
council. jim, i want to get you to talk about what would not be small war because conventional wisdom has been if you can resolve the 20% issue, it calms the israelis down. so why is that not a good area to begin? in return for some sanctions released that the iranians would get, something he has been better than put on the table. >> that is a good question. that is absolutely right. that is where the conventional wisdom. 20% is the most urgent near term proliferation. and you're right to say it's part of the whole red line talk shifting in vague red line talk of the israelies. they're focused on fordo. the u.s. position, as i understand it, going into the talks, is they want fordo disabled. not simply frozen or not
operating but disabled. that will be a tough pill for the iranians to accept upfront. if you read the iranian foreign policy statements on this coming out of the government, yeah, we know you want us to close fordo. but we're not saying it's a commercial facility. we built it because you've been threatening to attack us. you know, and we have. so they do have a point there. can they be persuaded to leave fordo? maybe they're but i doubt it. the question as you go into the negotiation and lead with a poison pill that the other side can't accept and then you end up nowhere or you end up wrors then where you were before because people are nor imbittered and more sprishes of your intention. i do -- suspicious of your
intention. i do think they can close fordo. i think we can do -- let us remind ourselves it is under iaea inspection and the 20% is under iaea inspection, the 20% they produced. there's more the iranians can do to assure the west and israel and maybe that's a freeze, not disabilityment. maybe it's 3% to 5%, not 20%. there are ways to massage this. but one of the things that makes it easier to get a deal -- i differ to the diplomats. not iraq and not afghanistan, not the persian gulf where there are dangers of inadvertent war, then how do you -- when you hit an impasse, what do you trade on? when you hit an impasse and you talk about fordo and others, ok, i'll give in on this if you give in on that. or you can begin to put a
package together where people are feeling like they are getting something out of it where they can sell to their own people. some people think diplomacy is where you get everything you want and the other side gets nothing. there's no such diplomacy. you may not like iran. iran has lots of problems. this is not about iran. this is about achieving our diplomatic objectives and they abide by their own obligations. the question is, can you find a deal that works? and so that's why i think -- there's not going to be any grand bargain here. people are not in a mood for a grand bargain. i don't think we should go to the smallest possible bargain either. there's something in between. part of that, again, is doing something that demonstrates seriousness, something the other side is not expecting as a way to break the psychological imbass as well as the diplomatic impasse. >> all right. let's switch over to a couple of questions that have come in here about the -- >> can i ask you a question?
>> of course. go ahead. >> how would you go about selling that to the congress? even the hard position that congress is taking regarding u.s.-iran relations, how will the legislature accept such a step and such a proposal? >> you are not supposed to ask questions. [laughter] first of all, i think this this falls more on the executive than congress. i don't know what congress will be required to pass in order for there to be an agreement on fordo. so obviously whoever negotiates with iran is going to take some lumps, just like the iranians, remember they have a presidential election coming up, and if there's a deal cut and it's associated to someone who might be running for president, you better believe it. the opponents will try to attack it and try to undermine them. we've seen that will before. this is an executive issue. it's also an united nations
issue and a p-5 plus one. i think the president of the united states comes in and says, look, we have the leaders of france and britain and china and russia and the u.n. and we're trying to prevent nuclear weapons, you know, you should probably not meddle in this. that's a winnable argument. i think particularly coming out of this -- obama out of a strong election. no one like gaddafi. no one liked libya. no one liked the soviets. it's doable. >> to partially answer the same question. the issue for many in congress is whether this negotiation quote-unquote allows iran to continue enriching at the 3.5% level or not. the historical position of the united states going back to the early 2000's has been that there should be a suspension of all enrichment as a
confidence-building measure. from what you're saying, jim, we're well past that point and iran has a lot of truth on the ground in terms of additional centrifuges and they want the -- their so-called right under the nonproliferation treaty to be recognized. the question is at what level do they continue. >> i think there's also -- i agree with that. i want to go on here. there is a debate over countries have the right to enrich. they have a right to peaceful activities. there's some ambiguities about that. people disagree. both the iranians have said, offered this as a principle. i think it's important to have principles to allow the negotiation to proceed. one is iran should enrich as much as they need. what iranians could disagree with enriching as much as you need. what that means is not very much enrichment because they only have one nuclear power plant. the russians are supplying fuel for that. we're willing to supply fuel for the research reactor.
so one of the problems here i think iran's nuclear program is outsized to its needs. there's way more centrifuges and way more capacity than it can actually use on the ground. i think we have a principle of an appropriately sized program. >> ok. other questions from the audience about the internal iranian politics and the regional politics. so professional sadri. with the iranian presidential election coming up in june, how is that going to affect iran's negotiating strategy in the coming months and who is calling the shots during this period? and related to this, as we all know, there is a war -- a civil war happening in syria. iran is a wrote ally of the assad regime.
how is that affecting iran yeas security calculations? -- iran's security calculations? are they going to insert that into the p-5 plus one dialogue? how will you answer the questions? >> of course the middle east has stranged. the syrian war and now this confrontation between israel and hamas that somehow brought us back to the middle east that we used to know, the israelis and the arabs going at it and egypt. but right before that iran saw its for turns decline. its popularity in the arab streets declined because of the arab spring, and then the syrian situation has introduced some very, very important elements, almost sectarian
element that declined -- that eroded iranian influence in the region and the projection of the iranian power hit a brick wall with that. so all of this of course closed into the mix of what iran is thinking. and this is one of the reasons this is a good time to start negotiating with iran. as its reach in the middle east seems to be not what it used to be, are a superpower, nor is it a hard power superpower in the region because of the situation in lebanon and in syria. lebanon is really the coming disaster and syria is the disaster that we're dealing with right now. so of course all of this will go in and if i were american and while the american negotiators i would say, this is exactly the right time to go into this. the presidential elections are coming. but still as always -- we have
to wait to see who he appoints as the point person for the upcoming negotiations. we hope they are upcoming. if he chooses somebody who is of some stature rather than a regular bureaucrat. obviously that means he's more serious. but if he sends back then he probably isn't serious. we can read the tea leaves there. i think the presidential elections really is not that important. what's very important is iran's place in the middle east equation. >> ok. ambassador ekeus, what are your thoughts about the situation in syria, how it affects it? >> it's clear iran expanding --
iran is now -- as it was 5,000, 6,000 years ago when the the empire was struggling. of course iran's influence in syria has grown. it has of course the situation in gaza where delivering missiles to hamas. right now egypt is sort of jumping in. lebanon is still a very strong iranian presence. of course in the gaza, especially [inaudible] under prems pressure from iran. -- under tremendous pressure from iran. that's a big prize coming up, where iran can influence play. maybe a constructive role. then it has to partner with the u.s. so the person influenced is
enormous. but every -- it's very touchy everywhere, including in iran itself. we have to recall that the revolutionary in the islamic revolution in 1979, we saw it mature, i guess, mostly men but there is another generation which is not at all of that style. you may correct me. my reading of the tea leaves. so iran is huge now. large. but shaky all over. but it has an influence on iraq, of course, i mentioned also. that's why it's important -- i congratulate him for his
diplomatic skills. talked about five plus one. everything should be done in the five plus one. but the five plus one are not the appropriate player if you deal with the future security in iraq. if you deal with the situation in afghanistan. to have afghanistan into a country of decency and progress. there is -- the u.s. must step up. as i said earlier, it's nice to be modest. but the u.s. has a responsibility which i think it should take on. therefore we have to look very closely to other -- modifying the whole setup of the dialogue with iran.
>> briefly. on syria what strikes me surprising is the iranian talk that they want to talk to the u.s. about syria. i've seen several iranian papers, oh, we should be doing this and oh, we should be doing something about syria and afghanistan. i want to agree with both my colleagues. but also point out that there's a are continuum here and it's a drell indicate walk. you -- delicate walk. you want the person you're bargaining with to feel an incentive to bargain, right, which means they're probably feeling a little pain or they're worried about their situation so they want to get a deal to settle something up so they can deal with their other problems. you don't want them to feel sho threatened that what they do is
pull back and say we are in too weak a position to negotiate. you know, the world is surrounding us and we will be taken advantage of if we negotiate from weakness. there are problems in syria and elsewhere are real. i think the arab spring has undercut their ability to be a voice for the arabs, but it's going to require some finesse in how you deal with that so they don't simply pull back and withdraw. >> we have a question from the floor about the role of congress. that came up a bitterlyier. and the possibility of further sanctions -- that came up a bitterlyier. and the possibility of further sanctions. across the street on capitol hill there are some members that are suggesting there should be further sanctions against iran, including black listing the entire energy sector. what do each of you think what effect that might have and in particular how might that
effect the international coalition that's negotiating with the iranians and also participating in the u.n. security council imposed sanctions? because part of the success i think over the last couple of three years is that there does appear to be greater unity amongst the p-5 plus one about the approach. so how might that affect the dynamics here if congress were to go forward? >> may i have the question? i hope it is wrong but removing the congress and try to block i would say nongovernmental dialogue, you know. it's destructive and harmful
approach. catastrophe, i would say, if it's implemented. maybe it's a typical -- >> i think what you said earlier, rolf, was so important about the iraq experience and the madeline albright. you said we sanctioned a country. they sort of do what we want them to do and then someone announces, it doesn't matter what you do because we'll keep the sanctions regardless and the thing falls apart. that's the situation i fear with the u.s. we love sanctions. i worked on north crei and iran. we love -- i worked on north korea and iran. we love sanctions. it's not the end all be all. they are not going to -- it's part of a broader diplomatic and military and other approach that is in support of diplomacy. but if we impose sanctions, as we did in 2003 and had previously, but in 2003 and subsequently saying we want you to stop your nuclear program
and then they start to take the steps we want them to take on their nuclear program and then we say we're going to keep sanctions, well, you know, that's not going to work. we will be a step backwards. so i understand the politics of sanctions. toughness, toughness, toughness. as the u.s. government, the executive is correctly -- i think correctly perceived, what iran is looking for is a test of our seriousness as we look for a test of their seriousness. are we going to follow through on our promises to give sanction relief and if we don't i don't think we're going anywhere. >> all right. now we have a couple of questions that go back to the issue of a deal on stopping enrichment of 20%. so one question is from the panelist perspective, why would it be necessary to ask the iranians to shut down the fordo facility, that's the second underground enrichment facility that now has some 2,800
centrifuges, if iran were to agree to stop all 20% enrichment and to ship out whatever 20% enrichment stockpile it has? and the other question is -- this person says deja vu all over again. this 20% proposal has come up before. why did it fail before? three years ago the obama administration had a switch of the tehran research reactor in exchange for stopping enrichment, why didn't that work? perspective from the panelist on is it necessary to shut down fordo and why didn't the 20% fuel swap deal work before and how will we make it work this time?
>> there was another proposal which was a good proposal. the timing was disastrous because it came the day or the day before when the u.s. at last got china and russia to endorse tough sanctions on iraq. i think -- what are these guys doing? they are sabotaging this sanction policy. and china, russia all aboard and then they had something that made the whole things capsize. so the turks and brazil withdrew. >> so the timing wasn't right before. >> i think it's a very interesting proposal. it might be modified.
i will come back to that. >> i think we have to be honest about this. there is no situation -- difference between the centrifuges. it's technically not really different. it's politically different because this has been an issue with israel communicated to the united states, and it will be difficult for israel to take out fordo. it's buried under a couple hundred feet of granite or rock. the u.s. could do it. it would be much more difficult for israel to pull that off. and so they worry that iran's going to kick out the inspectors like north korea
kicked out the inspectors and make a dash for the bomb, and that's why they don't want them enriching at 20% nor do they want them stockpiling 20% on the ground. you know, if they ship everything out, which they said they won't do, which i think is negotiating, if they ship everything out or stop 20%, and all the centrifuges in feudo are producing 3% to 5%, that's not a deal-breaker for me. but it's not where the u.s. government's at. it's not israel's at. so i think that's why i think i'm a little worried about of upcoming negotiations unless the iranians are willing to disable it because we're just going to deal with that and already just on that one issue there seems to be significant disagreements. so that's why i'm a little nervous. >> i would also echo the
importance of taking every opportunity we get to come to an agreement. we had the turkey-brazil deal that was broken because of this accident that just it came like a couple days too late. we had another occasion that jim referred to when there was another proposal on the table and looked like the iranians took it and took it back to tehran. the internal politics in iran is very childish in a way. many politicses tend to be childish in this situation where colleagues of ahmadinejad , how come when we make a deal you come out and you say you sold out the store? you made a deal and now we're going to support your effort? actually it didn't work out for these kind of childish and
silly reasons. which doesn't mean we shouldn't try again. because we have to try and see when we can get a deal through that is not -- i think it's a good time because we have been through a lot. the situation is getting very tough on the iranians. also, there are worries of outside forces, so i think it's really a good time right now to give it another chance with good faith and with confidence building and other confidence-building measure will be on the drug trade which is what we have in common is a lot of drugs produced in afghanistan. iran is the first line of defense. americans can completely forget about the nuclear issue. the issue of fighting the drug trade, we are going to give you some -- that is outside of this
negotiation that can work as a confidence-building measure. >> ok. thank you for those answers. another question we have has to do with the iaea's ongoing investigation on iran which i understand is not part of the p-5 plus one dialogue with iran. it's an issue with iaea, the director and the iranians. this has been going on for sometime. there have been news reports within the last month that the iaea and iran were going to meet in december, mid december, to discuss what's referred to the structured approach for investigating past activities. what -- so the question here is -- how can iran and the iaea resolve those issues, especially when there are serious concerns about potential military dimensions? how does iran get out of that
without further criticism for their sanctions but at the same time clean its file? your thoughts. ambassador ekeus, this is an issue that the u.n. has dealt with other countries before. what thoughts do you have about what the agency and iran need to do in this next meeting to start to clear this up? >> well, there are some concrete terms. i've also been responded from aye -- iaea sides. they indicate they have some questions. i have that because of my long experience in iraq. my judgment is iraq -- iaea has the competence to deal with the
military sanctions. that of course goes back to the proposal to the secretary. i think one must -- floating around vienna that one says, see if they can build specific competence. this is highly sensitive because of the proliferations, i mentioned, how they build the weapon. that is -- but i think it's very important that the security council should take responsibility because of the dangers, the threat to the international peace, security involved in this. so something more similar to something more controlled under the security council to build confidence there. i -- i am on the record
questioning the competence of this group and this initiative. >> coming at a from a different angle in a way in a is cynical and blunt but practical i hope. you know, i accept the -- although i have no evidentiary basis for this -- i am going to accept the head of u.s. intelligence, the d.n.i.'s statements that iran had a structured nuclear weapons program prior to 2003. all right. they're not an angel in this regard. i'm willing to accept they had a structured nuclear program that was halted in 2003 and then maybe some unstructured activities have continued since then. now as a guy who spends all his time spending nuclear programs, the key word is structured. you don't have people going off doing stuff on their own. so i think they had a weapons program, they shut it down.
i think this gigantic military base that the iaea visited because they were so large they went to that building and this building. iaea gets some intel that says the explosive work was being done in this building. at this time iran is being watched by satellite. there is no activity for five years. not five years but some period of time, years. then the iaea says we want to get out of that building and there is a whole lot of activity. there's curtins put up and shoveling -- curtains put up and shoveling of soil and all that sort of thing and that was a facility involved in the bomb program and they're cleaning it up and iaea is not going to get on the ground until it's cleaned up. this is where i'm practical and blunt. i don't care. this is part of a program from the past. and i wish they didn't have the
program from the pacific northwest. but i'm worried about -- from the pacific northwest. but i'm worried about their nuclear program in the future. if it's dead and all they're doing is cleaning up so there's no evidence what they did before, it's regretful and blah, blah, i don't care. i'd rather get a deal that prevents iran from moving forward with a nuclear weapon or moving forward so we don't have a military engagement that leads to a weapons decision by iran. i think it's probably dirty. they sure look like it's cleaning up to me and the iaea won't go in until it's cleaned up. this is not your father's iaea. right. barredi, like him, don't like him. i'm troubled by the nature of the relationship in a the agency seems to have with iran. that said, you know, the history here is every time you try to negotiate with iran, you walk away angry and distressful. the europeans did it in 2003. the agency's going through it
now. but that's a relationship where there also have for a refurbishing of trust or it's going to be difficult down the line. at the end of the day it's the big powers, u.s., russia, france, will decide to get a deal but that relationship has to be addressed as well. >> just quickly, jim. is -- do you think that the iaea and iran are going to resolve these issues before the p-5 plus one and iran work out a broader framework for resolving there or is it dependent on that? are the iranians going to stone wall the agency until they see -- >> my true answer is i have no idea, and then my guess is the iaea will come at the end of the line rather than the beginning of the line. i think we'll see negotiations with the people at the p-5 plus one. >> ok. we have a couple more i think
concluding questions here. i'm going to ask the panelists before we shift over to the second part of our program and the questions have to do with the longer range scenarios here. one question is, what happens if these p-5 plus one negotiations with iran fail to produce either a confidence building measure or some broader framework in the next few months? on the flip side, where would we like to be five years from today if we were to gather once again on a lovely morning in washington, d.c., what would we like to have seen before? how do we -- what do we -- what needs to be done to reach a sustainable deal on iran's nuclear program? each of you. please take one of those. >> on the first question i think it's quite simple.
there will be israeli attack. they are not doing everything. certainly not. it will be an action which the israeli says, look what happened in syria. we had this facility and blew it up. what happened? it was an attack by the security council -- syria didn't complain because they didn't want the inspector to see they had been cheating. nobody else complained. i mean, this is a really shocking reaction. that was in violation of the fundamental international law. so i think it's quite clear to me that the breakdown of the talks that israel will take a step. maybe supported by president
obama. i'm very pessimistic about that. >> what's the result of that strike? what does that lead to from there? briefly. >> well, some of us are old enough to remember the complaints -- they had big problems in the review conference. no agreements. there was a lot of ar mess. of course the assembly of the u.n. reacted very heavily at that time. but the problem is that the lack of leadership will tolerate it. i'm concerned. i hope it won't happen. i hope there is leadership dialogue. i think israel also. on the future, dare i say something much more optimistic.
i see u.s.-iranian cooperation. on iraq, on afghanistan, the common interest that will be helpful for the people and it will be peaceful and stable afghanistan, including taking -- studying the drug trafficking which is very important, a key component in the afghanistan scenario for iran but also for the whole europe. i hope five years in a israel and iran will say they are strategic partners in that region. they were once and there was smart people on both sides which understood. i can't -- i can say how stupid they have a very common interest and -- the complex arabic world. and these two are natural
partners. they shouldn't play games and gain points by taking cheap steps. on iran's nuclear -- i hope one takes the initiative by n.t.i. about a nuclear bank and n.t.i. raised $50 million. the u.s. congress raised $50 million. the europeans, e.u. finally coughed up something, $20 million. some others. and i think it's a good place for the iranian reactor under international control and in the context of iaea. >> professor sadri, your
thoughts on if these talks fail and where we will be five years from now? >> i'd like to see a nonnuclear iran and a less nuclear middle east and less nuclear world. disarmament -- obviously i am not optimistic that it's going to succeed to 100%. but mostly if nuclear countries start taking steps and reducing their stockpiles, that will create the environment for the negotiations that is necessary in iran. the venalt of the attack on eye -- the eventuallyity of the eye tack on iran, i don't think it's likely because israel and the united states know that iran is not serious. iran is not iraq. iran is not afghanistan. iran is not a tribal country. most diplomats that have been to iran -- i don't know if jim will share this with you --
talk about iranians having a very strong sense of national identity. this is a country that has the oldest national flag in the world. it was not a mythological thing. it was a real artifact captured by the arabs and sold for 300,000. and this flag relted not -- it was not a coat of arm of some king. it represented the iranian nation. the kings had their own coat of arms. this was in front of the troops. so iranians have a very old sense of national identity that transcends various linguistic and ethnic groups. we saw that in action, that spring to action in the invasion of iraq. so iran is not only bigger and better armed probably and more popular than these other countries, it has a very strong sense of national identity that
one cannot find in any of the other cases. and the people who are talking about bombing or invading iran, there are -- they are aware of this. so i hope there is no steps taken toward invasion but i would not want to risk it. and i would like to see these negotiations succeed, because if they don't succeed we are basically playing russian roulette with a national -- regional security and world security. >> ok. jim. >> before i answer that, i want to say that yesterday was my birthday and my brother patrick gave me this tie to wear today. >> very nice. >> so thank you, patrick. it is a nice tie. i consider this a tv tie. all right. good future, bad future. let's start with the good future. the good future is better but not perfect. we are still going to have five years out -- the arab spring will be working itself out.
there will be animosity between the palestinians and the veilis. there will be competition between the gulf states. mostly saudi arabia. i can't see a positive future in which iran is a member of the additional protocol and adhering to its safeguards agreement in a way that is affirmative and not definitive. rolf suggested of multilateralization of some piece or pieces of the iranian program where iran is a program but others are owners as well on the ground in iran. i see the u.n. security council sanctions going away. a lot of the unilateral sanctions but probably not all of the sanctions. ply guess being realistic or trying to be realistic some sanctions will persist but enough will come down and certainly the ones from the u.n., presuming a positive outcome, that they will be able to move forward. maybe a little better crisis
communication between -- set up between the u.s. and iran. i'd like to see maybe an adult relationship where, you know, like the u.s. is with russia or with china, with their frenemies, you know, where they are not necessarily buddies but there's diplomatic relations and you don't like each other but you talk to each other. i think if we can get all of that i'd be a happy camper. the downside, if it doesn't go well, well, i think, you know, these things are probabilistic. i think on average, you know, we'll probably get more of the same. there will be more centrifuges, more material produced, more reactors built, more threats of military strike but not quite there. that's the average. the way you get an average, if you put your foot on the block of ice and your foot on a fire the average is comfortable. and so averages aren't necessarily a good predictor here. i'm thinking that it's less likely the more likely that there will be conflict but
there would be a nontrivial possibility of conflict. i think the israelis could tell them self a story that they will strike. i am dishartened and sober that in 2010 netanyahu went to his cabinet and tried to persuade to put israel on high alert as a way to get iran dragged in coon flict. i don't know if it's true or not. but it has the look and feel of something that could be true. that's risk behavior by a state leader. so it just takes one of those mistakes or mistake between two naval ships in the gulf where we get a war. i am not predicting war. but if it's a 10% or 15% chance, that's given the consequences, that's huge. that's huge. so i would worry about that going forward over time. and you ask the question, what do we get if we get a war? we get iran with nuclear weapons. because me stopped the program in 2003. if they're attacked, i am -- i
would bet a sizeable amount of money that the first consequence is a meeting the next day where they say, oh, yeah, fine. we are going to build a nuclear weapon. i think there is strong scholarly evidence that was the response of saddam. saddam's nuclear program was one of several exotic weapons programs. they got bombed. he made it job one. so i'm afraid a war, whatever the implications for the region as a nonproliferation guy, the most important consequence is a decision by iran to pursue nuclear weapons. >> thank you. and as we prepare for the next segment here, i am going to take one more question from the audience. we can't deny the voice of america a question for our panelists here. so if you could bring the microphone over, please, so we can hear it all. all right. please go ahead. >> the talks so far for the 10 years -- last 10 years of negotiations with no result.
but all these years and actors in the region have been the same. there have been some changes which might be a new solution and that is the egyptian president. he took care of action yesterday. but yesterday democrat senator carl levin suggested that and bringing mohammed to the west side and perhaps that is something that has to be looked into. what do you see in this process? how do you see this might work and what the west can do with regards to egypt? >> that's a big question. i have written about egyptian's nuclear weapon under nasr. you know, i hope that -- this is a question that comes at a
point of great confusion and no clarity about the future of egypt. are the decrees the beginning of the muslim brotherhood down the path of a power grab or is this a temporary sort of arrangement that helps a husband or nurture an egyptian policy that becomes democratic and strong and more legitimate? mubarak was not legitimate at the end. i hope that egypt will be the leader of the arab world, it's the most popular country, and goes down that path toward democracy. it has different policies and disagree with the u.s. on some things and agree with others but if it goes down that path then i think it will be very important for the u.s. and for israel and for others to embrace that egypt in a way that they'll be a working partner. i don't know how much impact they'll have on the iranian
issue but insofar as they are part of the middle east region, a strong and useful and wise egypt would be helpful regardless. i think the jury is still out on this one. >> professor sadri. >> i think iran is happier with egypt at the helm of the arab world than the alternative which would be an augmented saudi arabia, the movement that is very anti-shiite. the muslim brotherhood is basically -- is not hostile to the idea of an islamic republic. connections between the iranian revolution and the writings of the leaders of the muslim brotherhood and it is also my hope that this movement -- get
over certain problems. i doubt that this would be a power grab because the muslim brotherhood of today is not the muslim brotherhood of 30 years ago. there has been a transfer of association there. we have to hope -- i don't know for sure but i think egypt is on its way back. and there is a possibility that egypt and iran might renew their relationship. they're turbulent right now, especially with the ahmadinejad problem. but the aligning of the basic interest, national interest suggests there is a possibility. [inaudible] >> well, i had a very authoritative friend and his assessment of the egyptian muslim brotherhood is they were a moderate type. mubarak made a big strategic
mistake by oppressing them and not give them a play into the egyptian society. of course, i was reflecting but it's not executed. he has a deep and very wise understanding of the situation. but, of course saudi arabia is there. imagine that he'll divide himself from the saudi arabian significance. make them realize they are important elements of the society. and iran is challenging that as we all know. i think these sectarian
problem, strategic problem which i think we not run into too much optimistic. we should be very careful in our judgments and watch closely the hamas, the initiative, you know. active in the gaza situation. rightly so. egypt is there. without in any way dealing with the palestinianian authority, keep them out, i don't know what that indicates. is that a new type of strategy that egypt has toward the palestinianian issue? i am a little more concerned. >> we have run out of time for this segment of our program. i want to quickly sum up some of the points that i heard our three great panelists make during the corgs of the discussion about iran's nuclear program and about avoiding a war over iran's nuck program
and that is we're moving into a very important period with respect to the p-5 plus one talks. there is important talk coming up in the next few weeks that will require better u.s. and iranian leadership. a broader deal that ties iran's enrichment activities to its actual nuclear power needs which are minimal, as jim walsh said, combined with much more extensive iaea safeguards. can help guard against a nuclear armed iran. and we need to look at shankses as a tool. not necessarily as the end goal, a tool in those negotiations and that we need to avoid making regime change appear to be the goal of the u.s. policy, to make it clear that the iranians have an exit ramp from this very difficult situation they have gotten themselves into with a nuclear
program. the two sides are going to have to be much more creative in the next round of talks and not simply put forward the same proposals that have met -- been met with resistance in previous rounds. it's going to be tough, but it sounds like diplomacy is the best option on the table. so with that, please join me in thanking rolf ekeus, ahmad sadri and jim walsh for their comments. we'll take a two-minute break -- a one-minute break as we adjust some of the backdrop here and hear from national security advisor brzezinski. thank you. >> worked his way up, went to harvard law school and at the
urging of one of his brothers immigrated out west to illinois where the mine industry was in its hay day. he arrived after about a month's journey by ship, by stage coach, by train and arrived on steamboat in this muddy mining town, boreded himself in a log cabin, established a law practice in a log cabin and then slowly worked his way up and became a very successful lawyer and then got involved politically. ran for congress. served for eight terms. and then befriended abraham lincoln. obviously from illinois. and then ulice us s. grant from gleana. while they were on the rise, washburne stayed with them, a
close confident in the war. after grant was president, he appointed washburne secretary of state. at that time washburne became very, very ill. after 10 days he submitted his resignation to president grant and grant regretfully accepted his resignation. over the next few months he regained his health, which was always fragile. he regained his health and grant offered him ambassador to france. >> researcher and author michael hill or eliu -- elihu washburne providing political and humanitarian support. "q&a" sunday night at 8:00 on c-span. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> on 16 or 17 bases in the united states, we have military-run schools. the average cost to educate a
child in that school per year is $50,000. almost four times what the rest of public education costs. and many -- and the vast majority of our bases we use public schools. we could take the money we're spending today, pay every public school system $14,000 per child and save billions of dollars per year. just on -- and with the same or better outcomes. >> this weekend you can talk with oklahoma senator tom coburn about the fiscal cliff, affordable care act and the future of the republican party on book tv's "in depth." the senator has written several books and reports including the latest, "debt bomb." join us with your calls, emails, tweets for senator tom coburn live sunday at noon eastern on book tv's "in depth" on c-span2.
>> and over at the white house today, the president's resolving with fiscal cliff issues, he's meeting with business owners. the president and vice president will visit with the president-elect of mexico, enrique pena nieto. u.s. house coming in momentarily. back from the thanksgiving break. they'll come in for short speeches in just a moment. later this afternoon they'll begin work on five bills one of which would require the department of homeland security to report annually on border security and illegal immigrants. votes at 6:30 this evening. later this week they'll be working on a proposal for a new visa proposal for foreign students, foreign college students taking advanced degrees in science, engineering and math. off the floor this week democrats will elect leadership for the 113th congress. house about to gavel in next as we mentioned just for
one-minute speeches and then they're back at 4:30 for legislative work live here on c-span. >> the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the the clerk: the speaker's rooms, washington, d.c. november 27, 2012. i hereby appoint the honorable steve womack to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, john a. boehner, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: the prayer will be offered by our
chaplain, father conroy. chaplain conroy: let us pray. gracious god, we give you thanks for giving us another day. you have blessed us with all good gifts and this past week with grateful hearts we gathered with family and loved ones throughout this great land to celebrate our blessings together. bless the newly elected members of the 113th copping who resume their orientation on capitol hill. give them call and confidence as they prepare for a new role as servants of our nation's citizens. bless the members of the people's house who have been entrusted with the privilege to serve our nation, all americans in their need. grant them to work together in respect and affection and to be faithful in the
responsibilities they have been given. at the end of the 112th congress approaches and much is left to be done, bestow upon them all the gifts of wisdom and discernment that in their words and actions they will do justice, love with mercy, and walk humbly with you. may all that is done this day be for your greater honor and glory. amen. the speaker pro tempore: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approved. pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from texas, mr. poe. mr. poe: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker pro tempore: the
chair will receive a message much the messenger: mr. speaker, a message from the senate. the secretary: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: madam secretary. the secretary: i have been directed by the senate to inform the house that the snass has passed h.r. 6063, cited as the child protection act of 2012. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives. sir, this is to notify you formally pursuant to rule 8 of rules of the house of representatives that i have been served with a subpoena for documents issued by the supreme court of the state of new york, county of kings, in connection with civil litigation currently pending before that court. after consultation with the office of general counsel, i have determined compliance with the subpoena is inconsistent with the privileges and residents of the house. signed, sincerely, nydia m. velazquez, member of congress. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain requests for one-minute speeches.
for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina seek recognition? mr. wilson: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman from south carolina virginia tech. mr. wilson: mr. speaker, yesterday the state newspaper reported that the university of south carolina's army rotc program has been named one of the fastest growing programs in the country. since the 2005 school year, the rotc program has tripled in enrollment, placing it third in the nation. rotc inspires leadership skills for bright young men and women which promotes extraordinary opportunities for service. as the grandfather of four sons courage serving in the military, three are army rotc graduates, including myself. i know firsthand the knowledge learned through military service will positively promote a fulfilling life. i'm very grateful for the dedication of the rotc program and look forward to hearing of
the program's great success in the future. in conclusion, god bless our troops, we will never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio seek recognition? >> i request unanimous consent to kucinich entitlement reform, 2012, wealthy americans are entitled to tax breaks. arms manufacturers entitled to bigger contracts. the poor and the middle class, they're entitled to underemployment, foreclosures, cuts in both social security and medicare. poor and middle-class americans know all about the fiscal cliff. they've been getting pushed off it for years. with an unfair tax system, unconscionable trade deals and the fed's monetary policies. nearly 50 million people are in poverty in america. 12 million unemployed. millions more underemployed. on january 2, millions stand to
lose unemployment benefits. 14 million americans' mortgages are greater than the value of their homes. on the rise massive cuts to essential services. will the american austerity replace the american dream? we need to turn back from the fiscal cliff with wealth creation, education, job creation, infrastructure rebuilding, monetary reform, trade reform, protection of social security and medicare. we need a great economic revival, not another great depression. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognize next? mr. poe: i ask permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. poe: what does one ask the brigade? here's a hint? #terrorists. that's right. foreign terrorist organizations like al shabaab, hamas, they
use an american company, twitter, to spread their anti-american propaganda and preach violence and murder. hamas has over 42,000 followers. their tweets have included everything from calls of jihad attacks to a new holocaust. isn't that lovely? mr. speaker, the supreme court of the united states has ruled that when there's a quote, broader strategy to promote terrorism, foreign terrorist organizations are not protected under free speech rights. we should be doing everything we can to disarm our enemy, whether that means freezing their bank accounts or freezing their twitter account. allowing foreign terrorist organizations to freely operate on twitter is enabling the enemy. the f.b.i. and twitter must recognize sooner than later the social media has a tool for the outlaw terrorists, and it has to stop and that's just the way if is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous
consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from california is recognized. >> mr. speaker, as the republican of georgia deals with its first democratic transition of power, i spent the last few days speaking at length with the president and the new prime minister about the necessity to continue the pursuit of the rule of law. mr. dreier: mr. speaker, this is a critical moment for the georgian people that can either put the country on a path of sustainable democracy or turn back the clock on the tremendous gains that have been made since the rose revolution. mr. speaker, the united states must remain engaged with the new government to promote continued democratic reform. a robust democracy demands not only the ability of the majority party to advance the agenda, but also the preservation of the rights of the minority, to raise
questions and holt the government accountable. furthermore, prosecutions must be conducted in accordance with the rule of law with full inquiries preceding arrest. this must be exercised to make sure investigations are legitimate and not politically motivated. i urge and will continue to urge, mr. speaker, this new government to deliver on its campaign promises of continued democratic development and enhanced transparency. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. burgess: today i rise to recognize a member of the frisco city council. although he was elected to council more than 10 months ago, his seat has frequently been empty but for a good reason. shortly after taking office, captain nelson got notice from the united states reserve and
was deployed to afghanistan. he was on the nato military base with the 980th engineer battalion. as the unit's civil engineer he oversaw construction projects from roads to water to intelligence. while in afghanistan captain nelson carried a copy of the united states constitution everywhere he went. his reason was, quoting here, you don't always have to agree with the politics of the day but truly by the grace of god we were born in america and if you have been to enough places in the world you know how lucky we really are and how wonderful the place we live. while captain nelson was not able to be at a council meeting, he was not forgotten. he is home now and he said i'll do my best to make up the time i was gone. on november 8 he returned back to texas to his wife and three children. mr. speaker, i'm proud to recognize the service of a councilman of frisco, texas. captain tim nelson.
patricia and i and a couple other people five years ago, about two months prior to this, five years ago, were fretting that we were worried that in orlando in the first summit that anybody would show up. quite a few people less showed up five years ago than today, and we are so delighted that you're here, but more importantly we are delighted that you are involved in something that i think is a cause bigger than ourselves, which is the restoration of american greatness by ensuring that the next generation has the power of knowledge. we all in our different kinds of way are involved in this. i know it gets frustrating because it's a big fight. this is not a happy place if you want to be advocating big things. and i know it gets frustrating and hopefully this summit provides a place where you can feel comforted that you are not alone. that there are a whole lot of other people that share this belief -- 900 people from 45 states are here. i'd like to recognize governor
purdue of north carolina and governor lapage of maine. governors are really important, i think. i used to be one, i thought they were important then. out of all the really important people, i just wanted to pay tribute to the two current governors. i think governor engeler from michigan, who is now the head of the business round table, is going to be here, or is here now. michael gogue, secretary of education in great britain is here. and we are delighted that he last night shared some of his feelings about education reform and how we have so much in common. the challenge -- these are global challenges. every country is facing them. he shared a perspective that was interesting. i want to thank the speakers that will be speaking to us over the next two days. secretary duncan, who i think has done a spectacular job as secretary of education here in washington.
conde rice and joe, a very dynamic duo will be sharing their views about the importance of education reform as it relates to foreign policy. john podesta will be speaking tomorrow. and mitch daniels, who i think is probably the greatest sitting governor in the united states. no disrespect to the other governors in the room in terms of education policy and moving the needle. we are going to award him with the first annual education excellence award. i think he's well deserving of it as he moves on to purdue university. we thank you for being here. i don't know about you, but i get moved a lot by books. smart people, i'm not that smart, so i try to steal ideas from people. there's no trademark on these things. the best i can tell. i have never gotten sued for t i encourage you -- for it. he encourage you to do it, too. past is prologue, it's etched on the side of the building,
history has a way of repeating itself, so learning from history i think is important. i just read a book written by charles murray, a great social scientist, that i read it about six months ago, it still disturbs me. each time i think about it, because it describes in some ways this great challenge that we face as a nation. it really describes the change in our society away from a upwardly mobile, socially mobile country that has shared purpose and shared identities to a country that is changing not for the better. in fact, what murray does is he takes through all sorts of data points, mostly from the census, but other sorts of data points, he describes belmont, massachusetts, in 1960, and compares it to fishtown, which is a blue collar community inside of urban philadelphia. he takes out all the minority
elements, the data points in these numbers, and basically looks at white america in 1960 and upper middle class belmont, massachusetts, and compares it to working class, middle class philadelphia and then sees what happens over the last 50 years. what happens is tragic for our country. belmont 50 years later has done pretty good. income levels in real terms are slightly up. outcomes as it relates to high school graduations and college graduations are extraordinarily good. crime rates were low and they actually got lower. families are intact. church participation, civic participation, all the indicators one would suggest traditionally in our country are the indicators of a healthy kind of community. belmont's doing quite well. fishtown, on the other hand, which was the gaps between
fishtown in 1960 and belmont were narrow. incomes weren't that different. but fishtown has seen incomes drop dramatically in real terms. college participation rates for the first time, this is a trend in our own country, across the contry, college graduation rates are actually lower 50 years later than they were in 1960. high school graduation rates are lower. crime rates have gone up. family life has been decimated. either people are not getting married and having children or they are being divorced. church participation is down. education outcomes are down. and now we have these big huge gaps between what was a middle class community where people could wake up each day and say, if i work really hard and i dream the biggest possible dreams, i could be the next successful person. and in the pursuit of that success, they create more opportunities for more people. that is the definition, this
idyllic notion of who we are as a nation. it's going away. it's leaving us. so the first thing i would say is, i think it's important for us to realize -- arguments, murray's point is this is a cultural phenomena. others could make the case this is an economic phenomena. i don't really think it's as important what the cause is. the first step is to recognize that we have a huge problem in our country, these gaps on income and the fact is more and more people that are born into poverty will stay in poverty and the middle class is being disrupted in ways that are dramatic. this is a huge problem. we'll let others have the debate about why it is. it may be a combination of many things. i think we can all share the belief that there is one path that we know for certain that could change this course. and that is to assure that we move to a child centered education system where we have no excuses for the fact that we have these big education gaps that will yield income gaps and
lives that are constrained because people don't have the power of knowledge. in fact, in america today one of the most socially mobile countries in the world, a generation ago, 43% of people born into poverty will stay into poverty. 4% of people born into poverty will make it to the top it twin tile of income in our contry. where is the outrage? where is the shame of this? this is not the america that we love. this is a dramatically changed america. so my first point would be that we ought to shape the complacency off all of us. all of us have a role to play to shape the complacency that exists to challenge the orthodoxies at the time to ensure we reverse this before it's too late. in america today a third of our kids, in spite of -- i know this will sound strange to many people that don't follow this this carefully, but you-all,
particularly those in the legislature know this, we spend more per student than any country in the world, and a third of our kids graduate from high school. prepared to be either career ready or college ready. a third get a piece of paper that says i have graduated from high school and that may give them some source of pride, but if they try to get a job they are going to have to take remedial work to be able to be qualified for an entry-level job. if they want to go to higher education, they are going to have to take remedial math and english. a third. we have great community colleges that deal with this. where a majority of their students are taking high school work over again because we didn't get it right at all. and a third drop out. in the world that we are moving towards, those numbers are unacceptable. show what's the solution? what do we do? how do we do it? the good news is that in the states that are represented here today a. lot of great work is being done. it's being done in a comprehensive way. i would suggest to you that
high standards, i'm not kidding standards, the same for everybody is the first step. secondly, that we need robust accountability where there's a different consequence when you have success and improvement or excellence compared to mediocrity and failure. third, that we need to have a teacher evaluation system that is based on teachers being professionals, not part of some collective trade union bargaining process. third, that we need robust school choice because at least my anecdotal evidence is 13,000 monopolies don't change unless there are options, unless you put pressure on these systems, it will always be insular and focused on the adults. then we need to embrace technology. the most important thing that we do for our society and the most technological age that's ever existed, there is huge opposition to embracing technology in a way that could transform how our education
system works. all of you know how hard it is to implement an agenda that is based on these five points. because all of you in some form or another are trying to do this at the state level. it's three steps forward, two steps back. i was told of a federal judge that decided that in one of the parishes in louisiana after the most historic legislation that he sponsored, it was signed into law by governor underle -- governor underle it's been ruled under -- governor jindal, it's been ruled unconstitutional. these are setbacks that require constant vigilant and continued work. there will be pushbacks galore going forward. but if we stay true to these five principles, five ideas and we are faithful in our implementation, we can reverse this trend and shape the complacency that exists in our country. one of the great challenges for our country is to raise accountability, raise standards
to set higher expectations of what the next generation needs to know. benchmark it to the world. make it competitive with the world's best. michael talked about how great britain has done that successfully. the united states needs to transform its system of expectations in the same way. common core state standards is the right step in that direction. 46 states have embraced this idea of fewer higher expectations that require critical thinking skills that are benchmarked to the best in the world. common core will also bring out, unfortunately, for those that are complacent, living in lala land, will bring a painful reality check to many moms and dads and business leaders and people that love their own commutes and throff their schools which is -- communities and love their schools which is all children are not above average. i know that will be a shock to
a whole lot of people, but the simple fact is that all children aren't above average. even the kids we think are above average aren't above average when we benchmark them to like kind students in other parts of the world. i don't know if you-all followed what's happened in kentucky. kentucky is the first state to adopt common core standards back in february, 2010. and now is the first state to base its assessments on these two standards. most states will have these ready to go by 2014. and i'd like to congratulate the state board of education and above above bashir for getting kentucky students off to a head start in this great 21st crbtry challenge of higher expectations. as anticipated the test results came in anti-kids in kentucky suddenly seemed to get a lot dumber all of a sudden. 66% of connecticut's elementary students scored profishent or higher on the state's old reading assessment in 2010 and 2011.
that dropped to 48% when the common core standards were implemented and the new assessment tools were used. math scores took a huge hit as well with a percent of students earning proficient scores plunging from 73% to 40%. kentucky is an early warning indicator for the rest of the nation as other states implement common core. we'll have a challenge. the challenge will be should we just ignore the fact that our children aren't truly college and/or career ready? should we accept the fact we are moving 20 second -- to second class status? or will we have the courage to stay the course to faithfully implement higher standards to assess them accurately, and recognize the fact that too many of our children are lagging behind. the initial reaction will be, and it's already started, i know in florida it's begun, and other places as well, kill the message. -- messenger. blame it on the test.
blame it on sfpblet blame it on the former governor. there's all sorts of people you request blame -- you can blame this stuff on, but the simple fact is if we are going to restore american greatness, which we all want, whether we are liberals or conservatives, we have to start with higher expectations for the next generation. the states that retreat on rigor will be shortchanged their children and putting them at a competitive disadvantage, not only with kids from other states, but also with kids from other nations. if we have learned one lesson from reform it is this. we continually underestimate children. setting high standards and demanding results drive student academic gains. far from getting dumber, the students in kentucky are on their way to getting smarter. it will take some adjustment, but our kids will rise to the challenge of these new standards if we give them the opportunity and tools to do it. corporations that depend on students being college and/or career ready when they graduate
from high school need to be part of this. there is a growing number of corporations that are doing just that. more than 100 roman catholic diocese from los angeles to orlando are adopting these standards as well. along with a growing list of other private schools, because they recognize the quality of common core and the need to stay competitive. these are, by the way, just for the record, these are standards that are developed by the states. that have come together in our great federalist tradition, around this idea that our standards were too low. and 46 states have embraced this idea. this is not top-down driven kind of stuff. i would be the last person to support standards conceived and created by the federal government, irrespective of who the president is or who the secretary of education is. so when people tell you that that's the case, it's not true. this has been a long-term effort that is important for us, i think, to create a
reality check. and the initiative is voluntary . it does not dictate curriculum or teaching strategies. the federal government jumped into the state's bandwagon, not the other way around, and this is something that i think is important for us to stay the course. high expectations only one step, though, in what we need to do and many states are focused on other elements of a comprehensive strategy. accountability to me is so important. it seems to me that lessons learned in life ought to be applied to education. we reward the things we want more of. we especially reward excellence . we are not as happy when there is mediocrity. and we create strategies to turn mediocrity into improvement. when there is failure, we should have no tolerance for t that is the simple, basic accountability system that should be applied in every school district in this country. 10 states have started this journey. and what seems to be a simple thing, but ask them how
complicated and difficult it can be when you bring ultimate transparency by grading schools a, b, c, d, and f. 100% not on inputs but outcomes on learning games and how students do the profishencies. it's a game changer. it aligns everybody's interest towards what we want more of, which is rising student achievement. it rewards excellence. and people are in their -- their kids are in these schools or -- d schools or f schools, ask janet in oklahoma or ask bobby jindal, bob white in louisiana, or indiana, ask the people that are involved in this and i guarantee you you'll have the anecdotal stories that i have seen all across florida, which is the last one happened actually sunday when i was coming back from vacation with my family, a lady grabbed -- i was walking in miami international airport, a lady grabbed my shoulder, i thought, oh, god, who knows. because when you are governor you get to do a lot of stuff
and not all of it is happy time. she grabbed my shoulder and she was really passionate and she said, thank you. thank you. and she said, my kids were in a school that i thought was not doing that well. you guys implemented this a through f grading system, and when our school grades came out and they were a d, it created an outcry and the principal got fired and they started to do -- they started to listen to parents, and that school is an a school now and my kid is going to college. that is what happens. [applause] robust accountability doesn't just end with grading schools. it also recognizes the parents need to have power. i'm excited about the parent trigger movement across this country where parents that have no power and have been cast aside for way too long now have been given the power to say, if my school is not working, i
want to say on how to change it. this is one of those great places where the center left, right, coalitions of this world need to work together. that's exactly what's happening. parent revolution is by their own definition a liberal group, and in florida where we will pass parent legislation next year, we are working and we are supposed to be center right i guess, we will work with everybody to be able to empower parents that right now feel hopeless about whether or not they have any say about their children's future. so this whole concept of accountability is important. in talking about accountability, the idea that you would pass along kids after they reached the end of third grade and say, we are worried about their self-esteem so they must go to fourth grade, even though they are functionally illiterate, is shameful. that happens in a majority of the schools in a majority of the states in the united
states. and it's the beginning of these gaps that we talk about that create a different america. better to have a system that says every child that god his given the ability to be literate by the start of fourth grade is literate. and develop strategies to make sure that it happens and have no tolerance for the political correctness of our time that assures that too many people, too many young people, particularly kids living at or near the poverty level, will have no chance to be successful. the states that embrace a social promotion policy that does not allow that to happen, that recognizes that we need early intervention for reading strategies has been -- as has been implemented in states like colorado and has no tolerance for this acceptance of failure will be the states that excel over the next decade and time. accountability truly, truly matters. seven states have started on this journey. talk to them about how hard it is, but talk to them about the
joy of seeing how you can change lives at an early age to assure that kids begin to graduate from high school rather than being functionally illiterate where they can't even fill out a form to get minimum wage job. teachers are critical, really critical in the learning for so many young people in this contry. it is a cliche to say this, but it is so true. we have a system to reward teachers that's based on an industrial unionized model that is completely inappropriate for the 21st century. completely inappropriate. there are incredibly fine teachers that get paid less even though they are doing the lord's work consistently over time and there are teach that's are mediocre that get paid more because they have been there longer. longevity is not the determining factor of success in the classroom. we need to make sure we provide all sorts of resources for
teachers when they are struggling to be able to assure that more than a handful of their kids get a year's worth of knowledge in a year's time. but we should have no tolerance for when there is abject failure. we should move to a system that rewards and elevates the profession of teaching as a profession and moves away from this system where longevity of service is the determining factor of how much money you make. that is a challenge. trust me. there are tire marks on a whole of people's foreheads in this room that have challenged this notion, but over the last five years there has been tremendous gains, and new coalitions on the left and right are working to focus to move to a child centered system and less focus on the economic interests of both sides of the economic equation in our school districts. 23 states are requiring annual evaluation for all teachers. 43 states have begun the process of requiring evaluation for new teachers. about six months ago, i don't
want anybody in michigan to get mad at me, but six months ago i read a report by a think tank that showed that in it was either east lansing or the lansing school district something like 775 teachers were evaluated, 774 teachers got a passing evaluation. i know lansing is a great place, don't get me wrong. i'm sure it's got huge swaths of really talented teachers, but maybe we ought to raise the bar up a little higher. have higher expectations for teachers and reward them when they do the right thing rather than make this some kind of ministerial process that has no consequence. in the states that do that right will have rising student achievement. there will be massive pushback on this. ask tony bennett. a great commissioner of education in indiana who lost his election -- [applause] >> doing what's right, doing what's right is not necessarily politically rewarded all the
time. that's not why we do this. but it is the right thing to do to transform our system of compensation and evaluation for teachers to the 21st crentry. the -- century. the third thing i would say is school choice is the cat litic converter to accelerate these things. if you believe like i do we need to move this ball down the field far faster, charter schools, vouchers, all sorts of alternatives so parents are more engaged and we create a more open system is part of the answer. there are over two million students in charter schools today. thanks to the work of many people in this room. 100 school districts now have 10% or more of their public school students in charter schools. louisiana, this last year, passed sweeping scholarship programmer it for low performing schools. kudos again to senator for a job well-done.
many other states are looking at this and i would encourage you all to stay the course. once again there will be massive pushback. there are a lot of people focused on the adults. this is uncomfortable for people inside the system to offer choices for parents to empower them to make choices that they can maybe do a better job than what the monopoly dictates, but this is a critical element of a proper strategy for transformational reform. in the final thing is that digital learning is ultimately going to be commonplace across the 50 states. and it will be a joyous occasion when it does. imagine a classroom in a blended learning environment where rich digital content comes from the very best providers, where teachers are managing the learning experience for students. where it's competency based, where we don't sit our little butts in a seat for 180 days and say now it's time to take three months off and come back
and set our butts down, slightly bigger, for another 180 days that we move to a system where if you master the material, you are not held back. if you haven't mastered the material, you are not pushed along. that's what technologies or is the ability to customize the learning experience in a powerful way. that requires changes in law. in many states now are embracing elements of what is the digital learning revolution. in doing so, i think they will accelerate learning in ways that will create these gaps, we'll see these gaps begin to narrow and it will create real opportunities for continuous improvement and advancement. the final thing i'm going to talk to you about is about another book. and that's the book being a texan by birth and floridian by choice, i still have a little texas heritage in me, and i love the carroll books on lyndon jon. lyndon jon was a larger than
life character. all the historians will not say he was one of the great presidents of our time, but if you read the third volume of the book, which is an extraordinary example of leadership, and you post it up to what exists today, it does give you hope that with proper committed leadership in state compols and here in washington we can begin to solve problems. he writes about how johnson was vice president. he was the most powerful guy in the world in washington, d.c., right where we are, when he was majority leader. by far and away the go-to guy in washington. all things went through his office. he became vice president and helped john f. kennedy become elected president, and then was relegated to nothingness in effect. he became almost invisible during the first three years of the kennedy administration. the book he writes about how the kennedy team, which came
into washington with great hopes, called him corn opponent. i love boston, and i went to school up there in high school. there are a lot of smart people up there, but i always resented the fact that people in the north think that people in texas are deserving of terms like corn opponent. i don't know about you but it upsets me because we do have people that are a little capable of doing things, including the then president of the united states, lyndon johnson. who in a six-week period kept the kennedy team, because it was essential to be able to keep the momentum going on the agenda that had stalled for three years, effectively. he kept the kennedy team which showed the leadership skill of humility. he had the leadership skill of doinged determination, and he had the skills of creating a strategy and he implemented in a six-week period a 25% across-the-board cut in income tax rates. believe it or not it's a liberal democrat, the idea was
to cut taxes to raise revenue to begin to fund the great society programs. he went to the senate which was opposed to his ultimate goal of significant civil rights legislation, and convinced the dean of the senate, who was the budget chairman, that he would commit to a budget that was year to year a decrease. not like they do up here now where it's a decrease off the growth. they use some weird accounting thing up here in washington, but a real dollar for dollar reduction in the budget. the first time i think in 50 years that took place. he got that dond. it required working, sending a limo secretly to the senate to bring the senator to -- senator byrd, to the white house to come in and to be courted and held up high and be beloved by the junior, now president, of
the united states, his junior when they were in the senate together. then he got the most significant civil rights legislation passed in american history. all in six weeks. all because of leadership. all because he did not let go. if it required grabbing people by the shoulders and not letting them leave until they decided they were going to support him, that's how it workt. if it required telling dirksen it would be shameful for the people of the republican party, the party of lincoln, to oppose civil rights legislation, that's what it required. if it was to pay homage to someone who needed to have homage paid to them to change their deeply held segregationist views, he did t my point is that leadership matters. i am honored to be amongst leaders and i hope you stay the course. whether you win or lose in the political realm, that is secondary to changing the course of our country's history by focusing on doing the right things, transforming our education system, there will be
losers along the way, politically, but we are all winners if we are being part of something bigger than ourselves and are trying to advocate and implement transformational change. god bless you. enjoy the conference. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> also today at the education summit in washington, former clinton white house chief of staff, john podesta, spoke about the prospects for education reform. following his 20-minute remarks, former governor jeb bush joins him for the "q&a" session. [applause]
>> thank you for that wonderful introduction, it was really a pleasure to be here and thank you, governor bush, and the foundation for excellence in education for inviting me to be here today. it will probably come as no shock to anyone in the room that the governor and i don't agree on everything. notwithstanding his relationship to my ex-boss. but one thing i think we both agree on is the importance of having strong voices in both parties championing the cause of education as a critical element of our nation's agenda, and building a strong coalition in the center to demand reform of our public education system. a system that, quite frankly, is still not working for too many of our students. governor, i really admire that building on your success as governor, you have invested so much time in keeping the
nation's attention focused on the need for education reform through this foundation. this summit, your passion this morning, that amagse speech that you gave this morning, are a testament to that. i really -- i applaud you and view you as partner in these many activities. it's also i think -- it's a pleasure for me to be here with so many reform leaders and friends. joel and i actually had the chance to work together in the white house to talk to you about education reform and the issues that brought you here today. there's certainly a lot to talk about. i have been asked to actually put on my political analyst hat and reflect on how our most recent election will affect the prospects for education reform. at the presidential level the only issue that got many air time was the cost of college. i found that shocking there was virtually no debate on how our
early childhood and k through 12 systems actually prepare young people to be ready for college or for a meaningful career. maybe that's not so much of a surprise in that politics is kind of a combat sport. it's about conflict. and perhaps both governor romney and president obama agreed on more than they disagreed in the education reform area. governor recognized the work of arnie duncan. it's -- of arne duncan, it's hard to take precedent. notwithstanding the fact i glue up in chicago, i think the president deserves credit. it wasn't a point of contention in the presidential race. with the exception of kind of a throw away question that jim lehrer gave to the two candidates at a debate which i
would note about half of the answer on both sides ended up being about green jobs and the solyndra loan, there was virtually -- very little mention in the presidential race and i think that's unfortunate for our country. i want to come back to how we change that dynamic a little bit. however there was a lot happening in state and local races and i think that does give us a snapshot of where voters stand on many of the issues many discussed at this conference. to me there are a few take aways that education reformers should consider as we try to move forward on the ambitious agenda the governor laid out this morning. let's start with substance. we have to remember that this is about putting kids first. the politics are important, but we often lose sight of what the politics are for. we have a national economic need and we have a moral obligation to ensure our students have equal opportunity and achieve the outcomes they need to success -- succeed.
i know we say that a lot but we can't forget to return to this foundational principle to check what we are doing against the ultimate goal of creating a student centered education system. so what does that require? in my view it requires an accountability system that ensures students achieve at the highest levels and that action occurs when those levels are reached. it requires a teacher and principle work force who are rigorously trained, highly skilled, and comprehensively evaluated and supported to improve. it requires a funding system that's fair and equitable, not the one we have today where kids who need the most help get the least. it requires extended learning time and greater learning opportunities so that students who are behind catch up to their peers, and so that all students get a well-rounded education that prepares them for this century not the last crun. -- last one. certainly it requires the
entire system that supports innovation, embrace technology and reform rather than hinders them. and my view it still requires a strong federal role in achieving those goals. the recent elections tell us a fair amount, i think, about what it will take to put in place that kind of system and these kinds of changes. to me the bottom line of these elections, this past election that we just witnessed, is that reform is not a foregone conclusion. at least not in the way that many of us may be have just assumed just a few years ago. when tony bennett, reform minded republican chief state school officer, loses in a republican leaning state, that tells me reform is not yet on solid ground and that the far edges of the left and the right can beat back reforms even when they don't talk to each other at all. you could chalk the bennett race up to one election, but
when combined to overturning reform laws in republican friendly states like idaho and south dakota, it's easy to come to the conclusion that unions won and reformers lost even in conservative union skeptic states. of course there are counter examples like the ballot initiative approval of charters in washington, but there is clearly bipartisan work for us in this room to do from the center to advance the reform agenda. and as the lines blur between reformers and nonreformers, the movement has to invest in collaboration and in organizing in order to build a broader coalition to sustain the reforms that we all believe in. so let me make an observation that's probably controversial in this room. i think the complete division between unions and reform is not helpful. we have to let -- we have to let that go if we are going to move forward. just a few weeks ago governor chris christi and randy wine gartner appeared on "morning
joe" to talk about the new teacher contract in newark. if he wasn't in enough trouble for embracing president obama, being nice to randy on "morning joe" will get tempers to flair -- flare. i know there is a big back story here, but the truth is the newark contract is a pretty good contract. i'd say a very good contract from an accountability perspective. they said over and over it how the election told them that voters don't care so much about the labels as they do about solving problems. and when all parties lay down their swords and take up collaboration, a lot can get done. i would argue that while there are clearly still strong rejectionist voices in unions, national union leadership has come a fair distance in recognizing the teacher effectiveness matters and evaluation systems need to include student outcomes. the shear reality of demographics within unions is changing, too.
you should keep that in mind. it will be -- be a strong force, i think, for reforming the status quo. the majority of teachers have less than 10 years of experience. and younger teachers, i think, know what counts. they are more reform minded. a number of teachers voice chapters have been organized and they tend to support a lot of the reforms that i think most of the people in this room think are necessary. remember, members of these groups are most likely union members as well. the dynamics are changing and reformers can and should make commob cause -- common cause where we can with progressive teachers an union leadership willing to put kids first. voters and the public listen to their teachers. look at the chicago teachers strike. parents of the public were on the side of the union from most of the strike. in my view if you go to work and your work force, sooner or later you are likely to lose. the question for reformers is how you keep the pressure on unions to change. how do you keep the pressure to put kids first without
demonizing teachers in the process? reformers will also have to learn that you can't steamroll reforms without doing the hard work of convincing the public that you're right. reformers with good justification believe they are working particularly on behalf of poor communities, but i think quite frankly they are not doing a good enough job of reflecting and building support among those very communities. i'm a resident of the last kohl nifment i supported the ambitious education reforms in d.c. pushed by mayor fenty and chancellor re-, but they lacked the community sport -- support necessary. i think the key take away from these elections is to top just focusing on your enemy and start shoring up alleys, especially parents and teachers. the governor mentioned this this morning, but the movement toward parent empowerment and organizations like parent revolution are good first
stefment building that coalition that can go out into the neighborhoods and really begin to build the building blocks of sustaining the reform that's so necessary. that leaves me -- leads me to a secretary but related point. i believe the key lesson learned is the importance of political muscle. not just policy muscle. reformers have been rightly focused on getting their policies and practices right. especially with implementing the big reforms like common core, teacher and principal eval wation system and increase school of choice. governor, you and i probably disagree here on choice. i think vouchers are something of an unneeded distraction. we should concentrate on public school choice. but regardless of the work is steep to get all that done. you have been a champion of charter schools in florida and across the country. we have a lot of work to do. and -- you can't just play the inside game without an outside
game. this election taught us that passing a reform minded law doesn't mean voters will support it in a year or two after its implementation. you got to build a movement and organization to support those efforts. my third point is that we have to ensure that education reform doesn't fall victim to the partisanship that is so overtaken and plagued our national politics. we have known for a while that education reform does not break easily along party lines. where there was president gorge h.w. bush there, was a governor bill clinton. whether it was a president george w. bush, there was a ted kennedy. where there is jeb bush, there is also a dan malloy who passed major legislation earlier this year in connecticut. where there is a john king, there is also a kevin hougher in. now the lines have blurred even more. i think kevin is a democrat working for a republican governor. this is even truer in the electorate. you saw washington state, which i mentioned, georgia, approve
charter schools for the first time. the voters in indiana out ofed tony bennett, voters in indianapolis approved reform minded candidates for school board who were supported by democrats for education reform. i know indianapolis is not synonymous with indiana. i grew up in chicago. but it strikes me as a complication in the traditional coalition. maybe it's urban versus suburban. it might also have to do with organization and the fact that the public may support part of the reform agenda. not other parts. some candidates but not others. so reforms have to get down deep at the ground level and fight the local battle and create broad, center based coalitions to win these fights. fourth, my class point, is that implementation is key. we've got to get these big reforms right if the public is to accept future reforms. the common core standards in
terms of content and teaching strategies. let's focus energy on making sure teachers have the support they need to succeed or else the demon core will blow up. the same is true for the new assessment systems in teacher and principal evaluation systems. doing those well will require patience in investment of time and resources, those things are sometimes in short supply if we look up in two or three years and see positive, sustained rewards in several states, we will gain much-needed political capital. i started and ran a think tank. writing legislation is easier than carrying it out. don't let up halfway through the race. implementation is everything. lastly, i don't think the elections will change the federal agenda all that much, though i do think a strong federal law, as i said, is needed to support reform. you'll hear from arne duncan tomorrow, maybe he'll disagree
with that. but from my view, the obama administration has made it clear, the republicans are in the same place, though i think their anti-federal wing they have party has move today extreme. i look for a shift in inch cament -- to implementation as i mentioned and oversight, waivers that the department's granted, i understand the department is looking to release new rules on teacher preparation, accountability, i think a much-needed effort there. regardless of what those rules are, though, it seems to me this area is ripe for cooperation between the center right and center left. i also know that secretary duncan has said a few time he is wished he had done more on early childhood education. i'm not sure if they're going to propose a new initiative. i certainly hope so. but i think it's a ripe area for investment and reform. now my points are right, the
blurring line the need for implementation, the need for a centrist coalition that embraces teachers and parent, that needs fighting on two fronts. while recognizing new issues will emerge that probably fuel this -- few of us can imagine, we have to do both of those things, get the policy right but build the organizational muscle to get that policy first implemented and then sustained over the long-term. the ground is shifting so the key will be to stay true to the principles that animate this movement, an unwavering commitment to improving student outcomes, particularly for disadvantaged students, no matter what challenges present thems. that is what animates our work. i know it's what animates governor bush and the foundation, i know it's what animates all the people in this room. i thank you for your time, dedication, attention, the governor charged all of us this morning with sticking to the
task. and this is a long-term struggle. and i just echo his words that we have to stay in the fight, we're going to have some wins, we're going to have some losses. but we have to keep at it buzz our kids are dependent on it. so thank you for inviting me to be here today with you guys. [applause] >> hello, i don't think i have to introduce you to governor jeb bush, thank you very much. this is the second major speech of the day that i found myself in nearly total agreement with. thank you both. we, according to the script for the session we have roughly nine minutes to dispatch all remaining issues pertaining to bipartisanship in education
reform. so let's start right quick by asking jeb whether he agrees with john. >> other than that private voucher shot across the bow, yeah. i think we need systemic change. and any tool that we have at our disposal to move to a child-centered system ought to be used. i'm probably most excited about things -- we fight past battles a lot and if you look over the horizon it's nettable that our schools are going to change. technology is going to change it whether we have closed monopolistic systems or open, transparent systems and i think we should accelerate that as fast as possible to move to a child-centered system. frankly, there may be less political fight there, which is what john's main point that i
think is realy important is, that we need to build political coalitions to support reform. in all of its varying forms. and we should be open to the idea of people of diverse backgrounds, diverse ideologies, joining forces and i am most encouraged that in education, at least, the potential of this is really in front of us. we can do this. whereas in other parts of policy world, particularly here in our nation's capitol, i'm not as optimistic. >> isn't this coalition building a 50-year project? is this coalition building going to be done in time to benefit the next couple of generations of actual kids? it's easy to get center right, center left policy conversions but then we go back to the real world of state capitals where people are at each other's throats and capitol hill, which has been gridlocked over education along with many other
things for quite a while now. >> i started by saying that student-centered approach is i think what can build that coalition. that's, i think, where republicans and democrats can come together. and i think if you look back at the work that senator kennedy did with president bush if you look at the work we were able to accomplish working with a bipartisan coalition in your state, governor, it's because people focused on student outcomes and particularly for the most disadvantaged. that's, i think, what can draw people together and if we keep that front and center, then i think we can get past what, as i said, is a poisonous atmosphere here. i think we've seen that with leadership in washington. i think it's in shorter supply these days, particularly on capitol hill. it's what is so important for those of us who want it to be up
there and working who will stick their necks out and try to reach across the aisle and find common ground. >> can i use an example of how it can be done? we do have a political challenge that in most states, reforl is driven by conservative republicans, not all states. and the constituencies that typically benefit the most are not necessarily the republicans' constituencies. and on the left, you have constituencies of adults that are resist ant. so you have a cross, kind of a strange, nomplely, you know, good policy yields good politics, it kind of helps sustain this. the work that is required, requires a coalition, not -- you can't do this unilaterally over the long haul. but in florida, we have a corporate tax scholarship program, the largest in the country now. it has incredible popular support. there are 50,000 kids that go to
private schools that are -- that are needs based and every year there's a rally in tallahassee, the largest civil rights rally, in tallahassee is a rally to protect and support the corporate tax scholarship program. aened they go, moms and dads, kids, 90% of kids, at the poverty level or near it or below it, 90% are latino and african-american kids. they come and their teachers are there, they're wearing their uniforms, they're there to lobby the members of the legislature. and in florida, there is a majority of the african-american democrat legislators support the corporate tax scholarship program because they know there's political support back home in their districts. people don't want to lose what they have. they like the choice. of being able to send their kids to this option. and it's -- the success of the program is what protects it. and there's a coalition of
popular support now amongst democrats and republicans for this. that's what we need to try to do. and florida is not the only model where this happens. in policy world, many states are now doing this. the reading program in colorado was a good example, john, of what you describe. and there are other examples like that. depending on the conditions of the state, you know, you have to deal with the other side and you should in order to sustain the success of the programs. >> the original enactment was not bipartisan. >> there was a little -- the beginning was no couple baa moment. -- no kumbayah moment. i can't remember if any democrats supported it to begin with. but now, as i said, over time you have a significant support that is sustained through political elections every election cycle and it's the --
you know, the success of the program ultimately, good policy does create the climate for popular support. if the thing fails, then clearly you got to go to another alternative, right? >> you talked about parental empowerment and you gave one example that incorporates parental empowerment. it seems to me that parents, though the largest constituency, are the least organized and least represented by those they send to legislature. how else can a parent-centric education reform force emerge? what's the formula for this? how is this going to happen? either or both of you. >> i think you see experimentation going on in the states at a policy level for the triggers that give support for parents to intervene in the running of the schools but also at the organizational level and the governor mentioned one effort. but i think there are others to
try to get -- ultimately, though, i think education has to rise on the political agenda, get parents motivated to effectuate change. that goes to a job for all of us, one that the governor is particularly doing a food job with, to force this up on the nation's agenda. then i think parents can find a way to organize to demand better results. they need transparency, they need information, they need to be able to know what's going on in their schools. i think those kinds of inputs were pretty -- we're pretty well aware of. but it's going to take investment, enge, in cree eating foundational organization and that won't happen unless people think this is a high stakes proposition for the country. >> one of the things that's going to be valuable is this research being done taking the
oecd pisa test and bringing it down not just at a national level but to the high school level, literally, so if you're in suburban d.c., you think, oh, my gosh, our schools are so good, this is a problem of the urban core. as a mom or dad, you don't worry about it as much because you think your schools are ok. when you compare fancy pants high schools, no disrespect to bufrle suburban washington, d.c., the financial capital and real estate capital of the united states now, no unemployment, high income, everything is great. if you compare those students and those schools to comparable schools in stockholm or helsinki or paris or korea, and you start pointing out that no, we're not as good, it will create a sense of maybe shaking the complacency, which i think is the first step. there is a complacency here that
people -- opinion leaders and people that have more disproportionate influence, don't view their own kids' plight as bad at all. and we need to create some awareness, i think, as john said, through information that this is a serious challenge for our country and it's, you sadly it's changing who we are as a nation and we're losing our competitive edge because of it as well. >> and this project under way, a really good one, and then also the common assessment to bring it right down to the kid level, how your child is doing in relation to these rigorous and we hope world class standards, will certainly give people information. at the same time, however, if you've got a smug suburban constituency and the teachers in those schools are also grumping that the politicians and the policymakers are making their life harder, threatening their jobs, giving them too much to
do, narrowing the curriculum. >> teaching to the test. >> teaching to the test. you've got sort of clay sent constituency and grumpy teachers, how does the reformer prevail? >> well, you know, i think we've got a -- i mentioned this in my prepared remarks. i think we've got to lock at this teachers coming into the profession, not kind of lump them and dismiss them as -- as having rejected reform. i think we have got to find -- >> a chance, at least. >> more than give them a chance i think we have to support their own voices and organization at that level to find a way to become a powerful force both
within the -- their districts but also within their unions to be -- to demand, they'll want the same sort of complacency which we're -- that you're describing. they want to be able to perform for their kids to have an exciting classroom, to take advantage of the technological innovation and we need to find ways, i think, to push policies that promote innovation and promote getting sort of more voice and more authority to people at the ground level. >> let me push this to one more aspect of adult interest prevailing. in ohio, at least, where we spent a lot of time working, it's not just teacher unions that try to sustain the status quo, it's school boards and superintendents and even charter operators who have now gotten
entrenched with their mediocre charter schools in a lot of places and don't want to change. but those interests are all over the place. not just teachers. >> absolutely. which i think is a good political point, in the political rem. some of us probably fall prey to, as john said in his remarks, there's got to be a way to bring everybody into, at least to give people a chance to embrace reforms and we'd be surprised, maybe, that the support might be bigger and broader and the people who should be supportive may not be as much because there's an entrenched economic interest. i think it's a great point. and it's something that -- my thinking on this has evolved a bit. i sense that once you get into, you get -- to use a texas expression, once you get your snout closer to the high grade slop in the front of the trough, the passion for reform begins to
subside. we should be vigilant across the board on this. one of the things i think that is also important is when you pass provocative law change, and many states are looking at teach every assessment and teacher performance. a lot of places now are changing the law to deal with this. there has to be faithful, thoughtful execution of those laws and put it into reality so that people who are legitimately fearful of the potential downside of these things and the fear of change, those fears subside and you can turn someone from an opponent to either neutral or being a supporter. and the execution, i mean, i saw kevin huffman give a presentation at another conference where he talked about the ex-trurebuating efforts in tennessee to get the teacher effectiveness bill implemented right, where, you know, thousands and thousands of hours of listening to teachers to get buy-in, and it was a wakeup call for me, i'm no longer in a
position where i can call someone up and say, do this, but to not do that, you end up creating opposition instead of having support. to faithfully execute on these bigger compleeks things is critically important. >> so i want to ask about hardball politics. things like campaign contributions and doorbell ringing and phone banks and things like that. more and more this last go-round, we heard about reform money going into people's campaign. school board campaigns, state legislature campaigns. we heard about deefer money, bloomberg money, etc., etc. do we need to encourage this? do we need more of this? do we need reformers to ding deeper into their nontax -- to dig deeper into their non-tax exempt pockets and contribute more to political campaigns? >> yes. >> total bipartisan agreement. >> dig deeper out there and --
>> a be effective. be effective on the messing. -- messaging. there's lessons learned, as described. it's political -- political mune cases is evolving. how you communicate, the means by which you do it, what you say, who you say it to, all that stuff is changing dramatically in american political life. and so learn from the lessons of each election cycle to get better at it. >> so whose job is it to recruit the candidates who want to do education reform at the local level or the state level? do we just wait for them to pop up? or do education reformers have to go and talk them into running? >> well, you know, that's a question i haven't given a lot of thought to. but i think that the question sort of implies the answer which is that i think the people -- this has to be -- this can't be done at a national level. there's too much of this going on at the local level. but the people who care about
this and can organize at the local level, which i talked about, have to find people who are willing to stick their necks out and put their necks on the line, then they have to be support in campaigns. -- to be supported in campaigns. but they'll know who is effective at the community level better than i think you're going to -- if you create a national brand around this particular issue. they're activists who need to be supported and moved up, elected to state legislators, elected to governors. you had that whole, endangered species of the democratic governor, but the resurgence of
democratic governors was built on this question. jim hunt, clinton, the others -- the other progressives -- >> the guy that beat me. >> the guy that beat you. >> what's his name? >> wasn't going to go there. >> you stopped, very polite. i could see that mind working. >> do you agree with this formula? >> politics is an entrepreneurial business. it's one of the most entrepreneurial, people that run for office take big risks. i don't think you have to like worry about people emerging with the possibility of service because it's really cool to do that. people willing to take those risks, what i think you need to do is think about how to build infrastructure and support around people who have a heart for reform so that they don't fall by the wayside. that to me is the lesson learned
over the last six years, last three election cycles, is that this stuff is never final. you have to constantly be moving forward and advancing the cause and in order to do that, you need to build a farm team, need to support them, nourish the political environment where bigger ideas are being advocated by confident candidates. >> last question from me before patricia kills me for running overtime. john alluded to the need for a bigger federal role. we are sitting here in washington. next year, you're taking taos boston so we don't have to talk about the federal role next year, but this year we do. briefly, john, what do you see as the essence of the federal role and jim do, you agree with him about it? >> look, i think -- and jeb, do you agree with him? >> i didn't say bigger, i said a vigorous federal role. i think that there's no question that with respect to the issues around equity that the federal
government's role in ex-reform has been critical over the last couple of decades. now lots of goods stuff happened in states but the federal government's emfa says on trying to provide educational equity has been there, i think if it's -- if the federal role was completely eliminated from the system, we wouldn't get a happy result from that. but i think that this emphasis that president obama and secretary duncan have placed on competition and -- competition throughout the system of education is quite a good one and i think the federal resources can be used to both support the development of new models and could force state experimentation in a way that's quite healthy. and so i think there needs to be
a continued role, as i said, particularly around the issues, around title i and issues around equity but also around developing competitive models and new models nationally. >> i would, we're trying to be bipartisan here so i'll disagree on the margins. how about that. in the sense that i think title i needs major reforms. so if we're going to spend a large sum of money that schools have become accustomed to, there should be accountability attached to that. there hasn't been reform since its inception. head start could use major reforms. it could be more literacy-based, more outcome focused, there ought to be accountability, states ought to have the ability to use moneys in innovative ways. where i think the obama administration deserves credit, they have injected competition. those are places where maybe in the second term there could be
efforts. i would argue that the federal role by definition should be littled but by -- but it could be a catalyst for reform and what we ought to have, education ought to be something of great national purpose. it doesn't have to be driven by federal policy but it ought to be, everybody ought to realize how important this is in the long-term for our country's success. if you focus on it as something of great national purpose, i think a lot of the governance issues begin to take care of themselves. >> and that's a swell note on which toened. thank you both. [applause] >> on your tables are some boxes that have two medals in them. this is one of the cool things about being governor, your commander in chief of your national guard, so you get to have military medals that you give for people to give to people for a job well done and we decided to give each person
here two medals for the foundation for excellence in education, one for yourself, because you have a reformer's heart, for which we're very grateful, and two for someone who you want to convert to have a reformer's heart. so use them effectively. think about who that person is in your state that you need to convert to the cause and enjoy them. >> washington worked his way up, went to harvard law school and at the urging of one of his brothers went to illinois where the mine industry was in its heyday. he arrived after a month's journey by ship, by stagecoach by train, arrived in this steam bet boat in this muddy mining town, boarded himself in a log cabin, established a law practice in a log cabin and slowly worked his way up as --
and became a very successful lawyer in galena and got involved politically, ran for congress, served eight terms. and then befriended abraham lincoln, obviously from illinois , befriended ulysses s. grant, washburn stayed with them, a close confidant in the civil war and after grant was elected president, he appointed washburne secretary of state and at that time, washburne became ill and his family feared for his life. after 10 day, he submitted his resignation to president grant and grant regretly send his resignation. over the next several month he regained his health, which was always very fragile he regained his health and so grant then offered him the position as
minister to france, ambassador to france. >> researcher and author on michael hell on elihu washburne, the only diplomat from a major power to stay in france in the siege of paris, providing political and humanitarian support. "q & a," sunday night at 8:00 on c-span. >> in about 10 minutes we'll bring you today's white house briefing. 3:40 ian. jay carney answered a number of questions on the fiscal cliff and the united nations ambassador susan rice joined by acting cri cray -- c.i.a. director on the hill today to meet with a number of member of congress. following the meeting, senator lindsay graham and john mccain spoke to others. their comments to reporters are about 10 minutes.
>> we had a very candid discussion with ms. rice and the acting director c.i.a., we are troubled by some of the answers we have gotten. there was evidence leading up to the attack on the consulate and the tragic deaths of brave americans and ambassador rice was warned sufficiently. it is clear that the information given to the american people was incorrect when she said it was a
spontaneous demonstration that triggered it. it was not. there were many indications that that was not the case, including statements from libyans and other americans. bottom line i'm more concerned than i was before that the explanation about how four americans tide does not do justice to the reality at the time and in hindsight clearly was wrong. in realtime it was disconnected from reality. anybody looking at the threats,
it would jump out at you that this was an al qaeda storm in the making. i'm disappointed in our intelligence community. i think they failed in many ways. but with a little bit of inquiry and curiosity i think it is pretty clear that to explain this episode as related to a video that created a mob that turned into a riot was far afield and at the end of the day, we're going to get to the bottom of this. we have to have a system we can trust, and if you don't know what happened, just say you don't know what happened. people can push you to give explanations and you can say, i don't want to give bad information. here's what i can tell you. the american people got bad information on 16 september. they got bad information from president obama days after. and the question is, should they have been giving the information
at all? if you can do nothing but give bad information, isn't it better to give no information at all? my belief is, not only is the information bad, and i'm more convinced than ever that it was bad, it was unjustified to give the scenario as presented by ambassador rice and president obama. three weeks before an election. >> i want to say i'm more troubled today, knowing, having met with the acting director of the c.i.a. and ambassador rice because it's certainly clear from the beginning that we knew that those with ties to al qaeda were involved in the attack on the embassy and clearly the impression that was given of the information given to the american people was wrong. in fact, ambassador rice said
today absolutely it was wrong. i don't understand the c.i.a. said clearly that that information was wrong. and they knew by the 22nd that it was wrong. yet they have not cleared that up with the american people to date in coming forward and saying they were wrong, including the president of the united states having parroted also, talked about the fact that this was a reaction to a video, the attacks in benghazi and what troubles me also is that, you know, the -- obviously the changes made to the unclassified talking points were misleading but just to be clear, when you have a position where your ambassador to the united nations , you go well beyond unclassified talking points in your daily preparation for the job and that's troubling to me as well why she wouldn't have asked, i'm the person that doesn't know anything about this, i'm going on every single
show, but in addition, the fact that it's not just the talking points that were unclassified but clearly it's part of her responsibility as ambassador to the united nations, she reviewed much more than that. >> senator graham. >> before anybody can make an intelligent decision about promoting someone involved in benghazi, we need to do a lot more. to this date, we don't have the f.b.i. interviews of the survivors conducted one or two days after the attack. we don't have the basic information about what was said of the night of the attack that's been shared with congress as of this date. so i remember that john bolton -- the john bolton episode pretty well. our democratic friends felt like john bolton didn't have the information he needed to make an informed decision to make -- about ambassador bolton's qualification, john bolton, to be ambassador and democrats dug in their heels say, we're not going to vote or consider this
nomination until we get basic answers to our concerns. all i can tell you is the concerns i have are greater today than they were before, and we're not close to getting the basic answers. >> i have many more questions that need to be answered. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] rhett credit [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> that news conference from late this morning. late that's right white house, press secretary jay carney also answered questions about the benghazi attack and announced that the president will meet with middle class family this is week in pennsylvania to talk about the fiscal cliff and the deficit. mr. carney says, quote, the american people matter in stopping the fiscal cliff and budget cuts that will take
effect in january if congress doesn't act. >> ok. good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. welcome to the james s. brady white house briefing room, i believe we have some visitor fres this united arab emirate here, i want to welcome you and thank you for being here. i have just a couple of thins i want to announce at the top, some of which you know about, others you may not. today, as enge you know they can president is meeting with small business owners -- let me back up. it is not happening right now. i believe it happens -- 2:30 i'm reliably informed. he'll be meeting with small business owners as part of discussing with them the importance of extending tax cuts
for the middle class or 98% of american taxpayers because of the impact that raising taxes on 98% would have on businesses around the country. he will also discuss with them the measures that he has put forward to assist small businesses, including hiring tax credits and the like, that will help the engine of our economic growth to continue to produce jobs and increase or grow our economy. also this afternoon, senior staff, including jack lou, valerie jarrett, secretary geithner will meet with leaders of fix the debt, including maya mcginnis anders kin bowles. tomorrow he will have an event with middle class americans again to talk about and highlight the importance of extending tax cuts to the middle
class, to 98% of american taxpayers and 97% of small businesses. this is vital, it is something that everyone in washington agrees must be done. and it is something that the house of representatives could do today. or tomorrow. if they so chose. because the senate has already passed a bill that extends those tax cuts, if the house were to pass them, the president would sign it right away and that would create certainty for 98% of american taxpayers, middle class families around the country, 97% of america's small businesses, and would go a long way, or significant way toward dealing with the so-called fiscal cliff. also tomorrow, the president has another meeting with business leaders following the one he had prior to the thanksgiving holiday. so -- friday, as i think you know, he'll be traveling to montgomery county pennsylvania to visit a business to talk
about the need to extend these middle class tax cuts because businesses around the country depend on america's middle class to whier -- to buy their products. as i think was effectively outlined yesterday and you read about in the report he co-produced, the impact of raising taxes on the middle class would be significant to our economy. without w that, i'll take your questions. [inaudible] >> does everyone know he's leaving? very sad. >> thanks, jay. two questions on fiscal cliff, a
senator said talking about medicare and medicaid both of those conversations should not be part of the plan to avert the fiscal cliff. doesn't that complicate the president's position, he has talked about balance, talked about the willingness to put entitlements on the table as part of a package and he's got a leader from his own party saying that shouldn't be part of the discussion? >> i haven't seen those comments from senator durbin but it is the case that there are two distinct issue here's that are related which is the fiscal cliff, the deadlines essentially that we have in place, if action isn't taken will result in significant tax hikes on the one hand and across the board spending cuts on the other. that's the fiscal cliff. the other challenge is one that we've been dealing with for a long time now, the need to come to an agreement on a broad, balanced and comprehensive plan
to reduce our deficits and debt and put us on a sustainable path economically in a way that protects the middle class, protects seniors and other vulnerable americans and continues to invest in our economy so it can grow and create jobs. the president's belief is that we can address both of these in a broad receive -- deficit reduction package but there's no question that we are -- that they are in many ways distinct. that's why when we talk about an immediate action a distinct, discreet action that congress could take if republicans in the house of representatives would agree to it, is to pass the tax cut, extending the so-called bush era tax cuts for 98 pk of the american people. let's do that right now, that's obviously not a comprehensive solution, it's a significant step toward a solution to the fiscal cliff. let's get that done. everyone in washington, i dare say, you know, the vast majority
of the american people agree with the proposition that we should extend tax cuts to 98% of tax players -- payers and should not hold those tax cuts hostage to an insistence that millionaires and billionaire the top 2% of america's taxpayers have to have a tax cut to. over the past couple of years, that segment of the american populous has done very well at a time when the middle class has been squeezed. i don't see a contradiction here. i see, you know, distinct challenges that are related and the president is very committed to the proposition that we can deal with these challenges if we come together in a -- and adopt a balanced approach. >> quick followup on that, every signal we've goten from the hill, including out here on the driveway after the last meeting with the president and also from you just said, essentially the fiscal cliff and a longer term
package on tet and tax reform are combined. they're going to happen at once. when durbin says we have to deal with the fiscal cliff but not entitlements, doesn't the president have to win over members of his party and say, call it what you want, we're doing this and they are on the teable. >> it's hard for me to specifically respond to -- specifically to questions about the comments that senator durbin made according to you. i can simply say it's the president's position that when we're talking about a broad, balanced approach to dealing with our fiscal challenges, that that includes dealing with entitlements. and the president's budget, as you know, includes $34 billion in savings from our entitlement health care program. so he has demonstrated yet again his commitment to the principle that we need to include as part
of our balanced approach savings from entitlements. but in order to be balanced, because there's never been a debate about that, republicans on capitol hill have been focused on trying to extract savings from entitlement programs whilen cysting that millionaires and billionaires need not just the tax cuts they already have but extended tax cuts, the president has long insisted that as part of the three throfse stool we talked about yesterday, revenue has to be part of it. one of the positive developments in the political election period has been signs of acknowledgment among republicans that revenue has to be part of this discussion. and the president welcomes that. >> on the -- about susan rice. she's been meeting with senators on the hill to come to some better meeting of the minds about benghazi and her public comments on that.
leading critics have come out, including senator graham, saying afterwards they're even more disturbed and have more questions now than they did before. what's your reaction to that and whether this outreach effort to the hill is not working. >> ambassador rice has put out a statement, i refer you to that. secondly, i would simply say there are no unanswered questions about ambassador rice's appearance on sunday shows. and the talking points that she used for those appearances that were provided by the intelligence community. those questions have been answered. the questions that remain to be answered, and that the president insists are answered, have to do with what happened in benghazi. who was responsible for the
deaths of four americans including our ambassador? and what steps we need to take to ensure that something like that does not happen again? these are distinct issues. as the president made clear, ambassador rice has no responsibility for collecting, analyzing and providing intelligence, nor does she have responsibility as the united states ambassador to the united nations for diplomatic security around the globe. the focus on, some might say obsession on, comments made on sunday shows seems to me and to many to be misplaced. i think again i would refer you to ambassador rice's statement where she discusses the meeting she had today with senators mccain, graham, and acting cri
c.i.a. director michael morrel to go over the very questions that those senators had and the very clear facts about what information she was using, where it came from, the fact that all of us who hadded -- who had to answer questions about the events in benghazi were provided the same information and that information was provided based on the best assessments of our intelligence community at the time and included caveats that those assessments would evolve as information was collected. we need to focus on, as the president has said, bringing to justice those who killed four americans, taking steps to ensure that our embassies and diplomatic facilities are secure, and that nothing like what happened in benghazi happens again. i want to move it around a little bit, yesterday i spent a
great deal of time on the front row. sheryl. i will come back to the front row. >> can you confirm that secretary geithner is leading negotiations on the fiscal cliff and how much leeway does he have? >> i can confirm that secretary geithner is a leading participant in discussions like these. he will play a leading role in discussions with congress on this matter. and he will be working with jack lou, the chief of staff, the director of the n.e.c., our congressional liaison and others in that effort. ultimately the leader is the president of the quites. this is his team. and i know that other members will be working, other members of his team will be working on this issue. so secretary geithner has an important role to play here and will be working with others to
help bring about that broad agreement that the president seeks. >> you didn't answer her question -- is he the leader? >> he's the lead in the sense of in terms of congress. but he's not alone. we would not send him out alone to the hill. he -- i think you know, we have a strong team of people who have a great deal of knowledge and experience on this issue. and that includes secretary geithner but also many others. reuters. >> susan rice, her critics senator mccain among them are not -- are threatening to block her nomination if the president puts her forth for secretary of state or other position. can you give us a timeline of
what the president is looking at for choosing a a new secretary of state, or will secretary clinton stay on through the inauguration? >> i don't have any information on timelines or short lists or nominees, potential or otherwise. secretary clinton has addressed her plans in terms of how long she'll stay, so i would refer you to her comments. the, as i said yesterday, the fact of the matter is that ambassador rice is enormously qualified for the position she holds and for the position, for a variety of positions in the foreign policy field. if the president were to decide to nominate her for another position, and i'm quoting the president from his press conference.
>> a while ago you gai a comprehensive list of everything the president is doing this week, meeting with, but nowhere does it mention he'll be meeting with congressional leadership. do you expect that there will be a meeting sometime this week? and is the president holding phone conversations behind the scenes with congressional leadership? >> i can't remember if you were here yesterday but i did confirm the president spoke with the speaker of the house as well as the senate majority leader over the weekend. he will continue to have discussions with those two leaders as well as leader pelosi and senator mcconnel. in the says -- in the days and weeks coming forward. i don't have a schedule for those conversations to provide to you. but he will speak with them and meet with them as appropriate. he has, as we just discussed, designated a team to engage with congress in these negotiations
and those -- and those conversations are taking place. so -- but he will continue to both engage with congressional leaders as well as business leaders, labor leaders, civic leaders, middle class americans, as this process continues. one thing we talked about yesterday, it reflects some of his schedule this week is that it is vitally important that ordinary americans actively engage in this debate because the outcome of these negotiations and the hopeful product of these negotiations, or the product we hope emerges from these gos will profoundly affect their lives. that includes making sure that middle class americans don't see their taxes go up on average by $2,200 next year which would be the result if republicans insist on holding those tax cuts
hostage to their insistence that those making more than $250,000, the top 2% of american earners, get a tax cut that we cannot afford and which is not economically -- as economically useful as tax cuts for the middle class. the president will engage across the board, not just with congressional leaders but a broad array of people from different communities to -- who have a great stake in the outcome of these gos. >> the team -- will the team led by secretary geithner be doing the heavy lifting and the president steps in when things aren't going well? >> i think the president is actively engaged in the numerous ways that i've described in meetings he's already had and in meetings with his team. he is doing some heavy lifting himself and will continue to do that.
this is a team effort, however. and when it comes to discussions happening with both members of staff and members of congress up on capitol hill, the president has secretary geithner and otherings to engage in that process. >> you probably heard senator mcconnel criticizing the president, calling for leadership on this issue. spskly today he went after the president on the trip he's taking to pennsylvania on friday, he said rather than sitting down with lawmakers of both parties and working out an agreement he's back on the campaign trail presumably with the same old talking points we are all quite familiar with. i want to get your reaction. >> the president believes strongly that the american people matter. in this debate. because this debate is about them. the question of whether or not taxes go up on 98% of american taxpayers is very important to
ordinary americans. it is not just a matter for substitution between the president and the senate minority leader or other congressional leaders. it is simply a fact in a in the recently concluded campaign, this topic was perhaps the most debated the most discussed, the most analyzed for a year. and i think the election was pretty conclusive in terms of which path a majority of the american people want to take, which is, when it comes to dealing with our fiscal challenges and dealing with the fiscal cliff. and that is a balanced approach. one that includes not just spending cuts, not just entitlement reforms and savings, but revenue. i think the data we've all seen could not be more conclusive.
so this -- the president will continue to engage with the american people on this subject because we are all here, those of us in the administration and those who have been elected to congress, to serve the american people. so to suggest that we should, now that the election is over, stop talking to them about these vital issues is, i think, just bad advice. >> ambassador rice, beyond the president's feeling for her and how she conducted herself after the benghazi attack, what do they think about this whole back and forth about something that's a hypothetical nomination at this point? >> the president addressed this in his press conference i think quite well. and i can't improve upon that. >> you talk about her and the good work -- >> listen, about the prospect of proposing her for a different position, if he so desires, i
would refer you to his comments. >> not just that but the theater surrounding the back and to the. >> i think he believes as he said that the focus on ambassador rice's comments on some sunday show, i know sunday shows have vaunted status in washington but they have almost nothing to do, in fact, zero to do, with what happened in ben gaw saw. and certainly ambassador rice, as i have made clear moments ago, has no responsibility for providing intelligence, that is the intelligence community's responsibility. and she -- the united states ambassador to the united nations does not, pass art of her portfolio, have responsibility for diplomatic security around the world. so thank you for that.
she is a principal on the president's foreign policy team. and it is convenient, i think, it is convenient for some to forget the context in which ambassador rice appeared on the. she sunday shows, there were threats to embassy facilities around the region and the globe. and she was it was entirely appropriate for ambassador rice to appear on the air just to take questions about our -- the president's approach to and policy toward the unrest that was occurring as a result of -- largely as a result of -- >> wouldn't it have been more appropriate for secretary clinton -- >> there are many able members this is something from the united nations. what is the point of the focus on this? it could have been me, it could have been ambassador rice, i took questions on this too.
we all relied on information from the intelligence community which the i.c. has made clear was based on initial assessments and they made clear at the time, with caveats, that those assessments would change. the focus on a sunday show appearance is entirely misplaced and represents less interest in chapped -- in what happened in benghazi than in political dynamics in washington. >> i wanted to follow up on both of the areas we have been talking about. first, since we're on it, ambassador rice. in the statement that she released today, to which you have referred us, she said something which marks the first time she has said it, quote, in the course of the meeting we explained that the talking points provided by the intelligence community and the initial assessment on which they were based were incorrect in a key respect, there was no
when what happened to those four americans and who was responsible and what can we do to make sure it doesn't happen again and nothing that occurred , nothing that i said based on -- make sure we take action to make sure it doesn't happen again. >> i'm sure you'd agree it's for members of the news media and members of the public to ask questions about the public statements of their top elected officials and today in the aftermath of an event like this? >> no question. >> that's why people are asking about it. i'm sure some would have political motives. you would have to impugn the questioner when we ask it. my other point i wanted to raise on ambassador rice is the
presence of the acting c.i.a. director in this meeting, whose idea was that? >> i'm not sure whose idea it was. the fundamental issue, unless it's all about politics, what information was ambassador rice provided and by whom and what was it based on when she went out on television to take yes, sir of what happened in benghazi and what was happening around the region and the world because the talking points that she relied on and others relied on were provided by the intelligence community, i think it's entirely appropriate that the acting director of the c.i.a. participate in these meetings. you know, it's been repeatedly said by some of the critics on this issue on the hill at the white house provided talking points. that's been categorically refuted not only by us but by the intelligence community and it is repeatedly said on the air. and it's just wrong. and i think it is more evidence of the fact that people are more interested in talking points for a sunday show
several months ago than they are in finding out what happened in benghazi, bring to justice who is responsible and ensuring we take action to prevent something like that from happening again. >> last question and this is on the fiscal cliff. you have the president hopping on air force one this week and going outside the philadelphia area to rally public support for his position on the fiscal cliff. we have speaker boehner announcing today that in the coming days and weeks republican members will hold events and visit local small businesses. you were in a position just now when asked about this to provide no details about any upcoming meetings with the leadership. if we look back to november 16 when the leaders were here, minority leader pelosi spoke about projecting confidence to consumers and the markets in the short term and having on the president's desk a blueprint a week after thanksgiving and something for him to sign by christmas. none of this appears to be in the cards as we see the president going on the airplane
and the members drumming up. these talks have effectively broken down. am i wrong about that? >> i think you're wrong. again, the president spoke with speaker of the house boehner and senate majority leader reid over the weekend. our team is continuing discussions with their congressional counterparts on this matter and it is entirely appropriate, i would say, both for the president and for leaders in congress, to have this discussion, not just among themselves but with the american people. and that's what the president's doing. that's why he's meeting with business leaders. i assume you wouldn't or critics would not suggest that is a mistake or meeting with civic leaders or labor leaders, because everyone the president's meeting with has both i think useful ideas and a substantial stake in the outcome of these negotiations because it is vitally important
that we take action to ensure that, for example, middle-class americans don't see their taxes go up by an average of $2,200 next year. there's no reason for that to happen. because as you know, democrats and republicans alike believe those tax rates should not go up. so let's act on what we agree on. let's demonstrate to the american people that washington can function. that when everyone agrees on something we can actually act on it and continue to debate whether or not it is the right policy to extend low tax rates for those making more than $250,000 and millionaires and billionaires who make substantially more than that. >> so why not stay in town and hammer it out? why is people jumping on their airplanes for photo ops? >> that i find disparging when you suggest talking to the american people about their -- >> didn't we hear from them? >> conversation continues, james. i think it's very important to continue that conversation with
the american people, both for the president and for members of congress, and it's important to continue that conversation with business leaders and with small business leaders and with civic leaders and labor leaders because everybody has a stake in this. and with ordinary middle-class americans, with whom the president will be meeting tomorrow. so it certainly doesn't prevent and won't prevent work continuing to be done on the various ideas that people have about how to bring about the policy that we need to ensure we don't go off a fiscal cliff and more broadly that we deal with our fiscal challenges. >> is everybody killing time until the deadline comes? >> no. >> everybody says -- >> it's not killing time to me. until the -- >> until the final week and people get out of school and the holidays come and people will hammer this out? >> look, here's a fact. the president has on the table a proposal that reduces the
deficit by $4 trillion, that does so in a balanced way that includes substantial cuts to discretionary, nondefense spending, over $1 trillion, that includes revenue and includes $430 billion from our health care entitlement programs. that is substance. so he has not waited for people to start smelling the jet fumes at national airport. he's actively put forward a plan that -- >> [inaudible] >> i don't know of secretary geithner's precise whereabouts. i can at this moment he was here earlier this morning. i can tell you that members of the president's team are continuing to work on this issue, as are members of congress' team and the congressional leader's team. it does not, i think, make a lot of sense to simply say never mind, the american people
and business leaders and small business leaders and civic leaders and labor leaders, you know, cut them out of the process and stop the conversation. the president thinks that's a big mistake. >> [inaudible] wouldn't it suggest to people and the markets that the president meeting with congressional leader, that would be ar signal that washington can function? >> the signal that washington can function is the result. only inside the beltway do people think that sitting in a room for photo spray will solve necessarily problems. the work has to be done and that work is being done and everybody needs to, as the president said, agree to the principle, that compromise will require tough choices by each side. and the president's willing to do that and has demonstrated his willingness to do that. i remind you when it comes to entitlement savings, the republican spent two election cycles, hundreds of millions of dollars beating the stuffing out of democrats and the
president for the $716 billion in savings that was achieved out of health care entitlements through the affordable care act. savings which contribute to the fact as the congressional budget office has made clear and many economists made clear that it reduces the deficit by $1 trillion in the second decade. beyond that the president's put forward in his budget an additional $430 trillion of savings in the health care program. let's back up and say, who's serious? who's demonstrating tough choices and suffer political consequences because it's the right thing to do for the economy? >> the november 16 meeting there wouldn't be another meeting this week -- >> i never said there wouldn't be a meeting this week. i don't have the schedule up. >> there is still a possibility of a -- >> i just don't have the scheduling update for you.
go ahead. >> subject to the drought in the midwest, the governors of missouri, illinois, iowa and 62 members of the house sent a letter to the administration calling attention to low water levels in the mississippi river and thus threatening $7 billion worth of commercial -- and they're requesting a presidential declaration of emergency to allow the army corps of engineers to begin work on a project that would immediately help raise the water levels in the mississippi. what kind of consideration is the white house giving to that request? >> well, first of all, i tell you president obama has been committed to ensuring that his administration takes every step possible to help farmers and ranchers affected by this disaster, the drought that you referred to, and as you know the administration has taken a variety of actions to that end. the president has been clear that the congress must pass a multiyear farm bill that not only provides much-needed disaster assistance but gives
farmers and ranchers the certainty they need to deserve while enacting critical reforms. with regard to the specific request, i'd refer you to the army corps. >> the request for a presidential declaration? >> i don't have anything for you on that. i think i'd refer you to the army corps. >> given the fact we're sitting here saying, doesn't look like anything's being done, you say work is being done. there's no meeting scheduled. there's nothing to signal to the public that there's progress being made and you have republicans suggest really it wouldn't be a bad idea if we mill over it for a day or week or so. >> bill, i'd point to comments by members of both parties that demonstrate i think significant movement towards compromise that as we've seen and as you and others i'm sure reported on
demonstrated change in tone at the very least by some republicans when it comes to the issue of revenue and the need for balance in a comprehensive package and i think that is a sign of -- those are signs of progress. additionally, there are discussions, there is work being done and the president is continuing to meet with stakeholders and others and will continue to have conversations with congressional leaders on this issue. it is also the case, as i said yesterday, and i cited senator corker on this, that we have spent a great deal of time collectively in washington dealing with these issues. there has been an enormous amount of bane power applied to the -- amounts of brainpower applied. there is a growing consensus around the fundamental principle that a comprehensive deficit reduction plan that continues to help the economy grow and jobs and protects seniors and other vulnerable
populations would include cuts to discretionary spending, nondefense discretionary spending, would include revenue. that basic principle was enshrined in simpson-bowles. it was enshrined in rivlin-domenici. it was enshrined in every attempt at this. no. in fact, the president's proposals has always been modeled only that principle and so has senate bipartisan proposals and others. so we know what needs to be done. this is not -- we're not diving into this. either here or on capitol hill, for the first time. the contours and parameters and even the specifics of what a balanced agreement would look like i think are known by all sides, sand the president made clear that he is not wetted to every detail of this plan. he understands compromise requires making tough choices.
>> where do you see the progress? >> again, i just cited a number of public indications of progress, and clearly there are discussions that are going on and work that's being done that hopefully will lead to a positive result for the american people. >> there was a poll yesterday that suggests that the republicans [inaudible] went off the cliff by about -- a good majority of americans. so that seems to encourage some democrats it wouldn't be a bad idea if we did. >> that's not the president's position. we need to solve the challenges that confront us and need to do it in a balanced way and the means to get there are very clear to all of us, the how we do it, the policy proposals that are on the table have been on the table for a long time or have been evident on the shelf
for a long time and we need to take action to do it. now is the time to act. yes. nice to see you. >> i know the democrats who were up for re-election in 2014 were from republican-leaning states. how will that compromise the president's -- to raise tax on the wealthy? >> we just had an election and one thing i can tell you with constitutional certainty is that the president doesn't face another election and that he's very committed to trying to get a bipartisan agreement that is in keeping with his principles. and that means balance and that means not asking the middle class or seniors or families with disabled children to bear
the brunt of deficit reduction. that's the antithesis of balance. so i think the president made clear in his statements at his press conference after the election that, you know, he is hoping that a majority, enough members of congress of both parties put politics of the kind you just described aside for a moment and do what's right for the country. and he actually believes that that is good politics for everyone. and he per sues this in that -- pursues this in that spirit. mr. collins. >> president mowsy yesterday appeared to be stuck by his emergency declaration after the meeting with the egyptian
judiciary. does that deepen the concerns about what's going on in egypt that you talked about yesterday? >> we have seen reports regarding the discussions between egypt's leaders, elected officials and members of the judiciary, as you mentioned, and is closely following what is still an unfolding political situation. as we have done since first learning of the recent decisions, we urge an inclusive dialogue between the government of egypt and all egyptian stakeholders. as i said yesterday, one of the aspirations of the egyptian revolution was to ensure that power is not overly concentrated in the hands of any one person or any institution. current constitutional impasse is an internal egyptian situation that can only be resolved by the egyptian people through peaceful democratic dialogue, and we call on all egyptians exercising their right to freedom of expression to do so peacefully. we continue to urge the adoption of a constitution that respects fundamental freedoms,
individual rights and the rule of law consistent with egypt's international obligations and commitments and is written through a consultive and inclusive process. democracy needs strong institutions and the importance of checks and balances that provide accountability. >> the white house and previous white houses used to call on mubarak to lift the emergency law which was temporary in the last decade. what's the difference here? you said it's an evolving situation. do you think this could become the same thing? >> well, what i'd say, things have changed since mubarak has been in power as well as you and anyone in this room understands. as i tried to express yesterday, we need to step back and look at the transformation that's been occurring in egypt since the revolution began there. and we have raised our concerns about the decisions and
declarations that were made on november 22. secretary clinton has spoken directly with foreign minister amar. she did that yesterday to convey u.s. concerns. and ambassador paterson has been in regular contact on these issues with egyptian officials. we believe firmly that this has to -- that this needs to be resolved internally as part of a transition to democracy and the building of institutions that creates checks and balances in an egypt that will be -- that will have as a government an entity that is more responsive to the will of the people in egypt and more democratic. sand where we have concerns we raise them, but we also understand that this is an internal egyptian process. april. >> jay, procedurally and
qualitatively, can you discuss how this administration views intelligence, information as it first comes to this white house? >> i need something more specific than that. >> ok. [inaudible] in october, one said normally you gather information that's considered information at the beginning because they know the beginning of the information is wrong. so then they try to put it together and it is sent to the white house and is considered intelligence. how does this view initial information considered intelligence presented to them by the c.i.a. or whoever? >> i'm obviously not going to get far into the weeds only the process of gathering and assessing intelligence. i will say -- >> is that correct? >> not saying initial assessments are wrong but
initial assessments are initial. as in the case of benghazi, i and others made clear that those initial assessments were subject to change as we gathered as our intelligence community gathered more information. we provided clarity as it became available to our picture of what had happened in benghazi. but it is certainly the case that initial assessments of an event like what happened in benghazi are just that. and that investigation and further assessments need to be made. that's why we made clear that, you know, the image we were given after benghazi were based on initial assessments and incomplete information and that investigations were continuing and are continuing to this day.
>> [inaudible] >> james, i think i answered your question. >> you told dan that the president answered information at the press conference for reporters. there's been a lot of movement since that press conference. particularly today with the ambassador and with the c.i.a. talking about the intelligence issue. it's telling everything that's been said. what say you about the c.i.a. information and that they are talking about is countering what -- what's going on? >> i refer you to the d.n.i. and c.i.a. about the intelligence assessments that were gathered not only to the white house but to members of congress in the immediate aftermath and in the days after the b aghazi. i really think these answers -- these questions have been answered and the focus should be on what happened in benghazi
, who was responsible for the deaths of four americans, including a u.s. ambassador, bringing those responsible to justice and taking action to ensure that we have the necessary security at our diplomatic facilities around the globe, especially in dangerous areas, so that something like this doesn't happen again. the focus on talking points is misplaced. yes. >> one more question. >> i understand, but this is important. we talk about issues that faulty intelligence when we went to war with iraq. now, are we still dealing with issues of faulty intelligence? >> again. this answer was clear in what i cited from ambassador rice's information. it turned out to not be the case. there were protests on the site outside of the benghazi facility prior to the attack.
as i made clear and ambassador rice made clear, those initial assessments were just that. they evolved as more information was gathered. yes, alexis. >> i want to follow up. you talked about the questions the president continues to have about the investigation in benghazi. when does he expect to get answers? >> he looks forward to the completion of the investigation by the f.b.i.. as soon as that investigation is complete and conclusive. he also looks forward to the assessments of the accountability review board which was put in place by secretary clinton at the president's direction to look at the broader issues of security around our diplomatic facility. i don't have the timetable for the completion of those investigations. i'd refer you to the f.b.i. or the department of justice on one hand or the state department on the other.
>> the president took his campaigning or his message about the payroll tax out to the american people. can you describe what he learned from that experience that he may be applying to this situation because he came back to deal with house republicans in a different way after doing that? >> the president believes it is extremely important to speak with the american people about these incredibly important policy decisions that are being made in washington on behalf of the american people. you know, there are a few things in a affect american families more directly than the prospect of a $2,200 on average tax hike for 98% of us beginning on january 1 if the house of representatives refuses to extend the tax cuts from the bush era for the 98%. and for 97% of small
businesses. it's very important to engage. you know, as we've seen in election cycles and as we've seen in between election cycles, the american people care deeply about policy decisions that are made in washington by leaders of both parties. and, you know, i think you heard the president talk about some of the lessons he learned from the early part of his presidency when with the cascading crises he was confronted with, he was making decision after decision to try to prevent a great depression. making decision after decision to deal with our security challenges and two wars in afghanistan and iraq as well as elsewhere. and his feeling that he needs to continue to communicate with the american people about what his vision is, what his policy proposals are, what the nature of the debates are is -- the nature of this debate in particular, but all the policy
issues that we have. so you can expect the president to continue to do that going forward, both in the waning weeks around months of his first term and throughout his second term. >> the president's going to pennsylvania, a blue state, he's carried the last two elections -- >> policy debates that's happening in washington. >> the conversation during the months and months of the campaign, but the president only visited seven to 10 swing states, states he was interested in. why not go to a deeply red state right now? >> that's entirely inaccurate. he did far more than seven to 10 states. secondly -- >> why not and go have the conversation with -- >> a very long detailed and well-received economic policy speech given to many, many people in kansas which last i checked was not a blue state.
it was a huge rally. there was a large audience. people cheered. i call that a rally. what you will hear from the president on friday is a -- >> does he plan to go again? >> i don't have any scheduling update. the president will travel all around the country in his second term and looks forward to it. talking about the incredibly important challenges that we face as a country and the decisions that the elected leaders that the american people sent to washington are making on the american people's behalf. and he thinks that is absolutely the right thing for him to do. he believes it's important for members of congress to do because i think as we see in people's evaluation of washington and in particular their assessments of congress, i don't think there's a lot of faith that a bunch of people sitting around a table in a room are going to solve problems on behalf of the american people if those team aren't communicating, if those sitting around the table aren't
communicating and engaging with the american people to find out what they believe the right answers are. thanks very much, guys. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> also today at the white house, the president met with small business leaders talking about the fiscal cliff and he and the vice president met with the mexican president-elect enregiona pena nieto. the congress will take up five bills, including one that requires the department of homeland security to report annually on border security and illegal immigrants. votes this evening, if requested, will be after 6:30.
the senate meanwhile continuing debate on taking up the defense authorization bill. you can follow senate coverage on c-span2. back to the white house for a moment. president obama today signing into law u.s. airlines be excluded from emission -- this is the first test for the president fighting climate change in the second change. he quietly signed the bill over their objections. again, the u.s. house in moments. five bills. live coverage here on c-span.
>> the house gaveling in just a couple of moments. five bills on the agenda this afternoon. later this week they'll take up a bill that aims to provide a quick visa process for granting legal status to immigrant students who earned advanced degrees in science, engineering or mathematics at u.s. colleges and universities. the house is in tomorrow but not until noon. there will be no votes tomorrow. house republicans are meeting tomorrow to select their leadership, their committee leadership assignments for the next congress. house democrats later this week will elect their leaders for the 113th congress which of course begins in january.
>> well, we exexpected the house to gavel in on capitol hill. when the house returns, the senate as well, the bells will chime. that was 15 minutes ago. r proceedings on motions to suspend the rules on which a recorded vote or motions on which the yeas and nays are ordered, record votes on postponed questions will be taken later. for what purpose does the gentlelady from michigan seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. bopp bopp bopp and pass h.r. 60 25 as amended. caller:. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from michigan, mrs. miller and the gentleman, mr. thompson, each will control 20 minutes.
the speaker recognizes mrs. miller. mrs. miller: i ask that all members have five legislate i have days to revise and extend their remarks and include any extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mrs. miller: i monothe enumerated powers of the institution providing for common defense. a key part of the common defense is ensuring we secure our nations borders and determining how to do this will be crucial. h.r. 6025, the mandatory operational control reporting and performance measures act of 2012, requires that the department of homeland security resume reporting miles of the border under operational control and provide an estimate of the -- of the number of unlawful entries between ports of entry. for years we relied upon operational control as a proxy for border curt. it really became the de facto
term to show how much or how little of the border the border patrol could control. at last count only 44% of the southwest border was under operational control, less than 2% of the northern border was adequately secured. i'm not sure how we can go from having less than half the border under operational control to get the current thinking that the border is more secure than ever, as the reck retear of homeland security has said. without having a legitimate way to measure border security. in 2010, the department of homeland security stop red porting the numbers of miles of border under operational control with the promise of a new, more holistic measure called the border commission index. it's time for the department to provide a suitable measure that adequately captures the security situation on the
border, whether that is the border condition index or something else. until then, the department should resume reporting miles under operational control and to ensure that the numbers of the d.h.s. gives us are sound, this bill, mr. speaker, requires that the department gives the government accountability office access to the operational control numbers for third-party verification. and i fully understand that the leadership of the department believes operational control, as it is currently configured, is not the right measure to assess security at the border. so we are really all open to new, robust standards, if it better describes the level of security at our borders, but we can't just take this administration's word for that the border is more security than ever without some agreed upon standard. and to that point, i'm not sure that we should automatically assume that any me measure stacks up against operational control with an issue that's
important, we can't just change the rule if we don't like the result. and under this bill, the use of anything other than operational control to describe the security along the border must be vetted by a national laboratory with prior expertise in border security. validation by a third party to ensure it accurately measures security along the border boils down to this -- trust but verify. in testimony, the government accountability office has been clear that the use of apprehensions of aliens at or near the border as a proxy for border security is at best incomplete and it tells us we are catching lots of people but it doesn't answer the most important question -- how effective are we at keeping the drug cartels and human traffickers and others from crossing our border at will? h.r. 6025 asks the department to address this issue with an estimate of the number of unlawful entries between ports of entry so that the american people can put back the -- can put the apprehension numbers in the proper context and can
stack apprehensions against the number of people who successfully cross the border illegally. the men and women, mr. speaker, of the u.s. border patrol and the u.s. customs and border protection, have a very difficult job, and i certainly want to thank them. i'm sure we all do for the very hard work that they do in some very demanding conditions to keep secure our nation. how we determine or measure what a secured border looks like has been the subject of a lot of debate, but the fact remains that the congress and the american people should have a vir football way to determine if we are making pro-- verifiable way to determine if we are making progress. i ask my colleagues to support this and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi. mr. thompson: i rise in support of h.r. 6025. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. the bill before the house today
would require the secretary of homeland security to report annually to the relevant congressional committees on the number of miles of our international land and maritime borders that are under operational control and, number two, the estimated number of unlawful entries between ports of entry along our international land and maritime borders. the department of homeland security already tracks much of this data and i have no objections to it being provided to congress and in our effort to better security our borders. with that, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired. the gentlelady from michigan. mrs. miller: mr. speaker, i thought i had another speaker but i do not see him here, and if the gentleman from mississippi has no further speakers, i'm prepared to close. mr. thompson: i have no further speakers. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentlelady is recognized. mrs. miller: mr. speaker, i'd just ask my colleagues to support this legislation that moves us toward a more fuller understanding of the security situation along the border and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman from mississippi yield back his time? mr. thompson: mr. speaker, i have no further speakers. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 6025, as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 5913, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 5913, a bill to create an independent advisory
panel to comprehensively assess the management structure and capabilities related to the department of homeland security and make recommendations to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the management of the department. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from texas, mr. mccaul, and the gentleman from mississippi, mr. thompson, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. mccaul: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. mccaul: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mccaul: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of the d.h.s. accountability act of 2012. congress has an important opportunity to make the department of homeland security a more effective and efficient organization. the purpose of this bipartisan legislation is to create an independent advisory panel to conduct a top to bottom examination of defisheses in
the department's management -- deficiencies in the department's management structure. it examined corruption, low morale and efficiency and waste of taxpayer dollars and comes almost 10 years since the inception of d.h.s. i appreciate the strodge support of the ranking member -- strong support of the ranking member of the homeland security subcommittee, mr. keating, as an original co-sponsor of this bill. as the third federal department, d.h.s. has more than 30,000 employees and an annual budget of $60 billion. its transformation, according to the g.a.o., is critical to achieving its security mission. however, excessive bureaucracy, waste and effectiveness, lack of transparency has hindered its operations. mismanagement is the threat to the security of our homeland. since 2003, g.a.o. has
designated the transformation of d.h.s. as high risk because the department had to transform 22 agencies, several with major management challenges, into one department, and failure to effectively address the department's management risks could have serious consequences. d.h.s. remains on g.a.o.'s high-risk list. while g.a.o. has conducted numerous audits of specific d.h.s. programs, a comprehensive management assessment of the department has yet to be conducted. . our hearings and g.a.o. findings conclude that d.h.s. has made some progress but is still dysfunctional in several areas. they continue to face challenges in acquisition management and i.t. in august, my subcommittee released a report outlining how the department's management failures led to a variety of acquisition programs, have wasted taxpayer dollars and had
a serious impact on our ability to protect the homeland. the report's findings show why such a panel is needed to help fix the department's shortcomings. g.a.o.'s recent work also identified areas of duplicative effort. for instance, g.a.o. found agencies are paying for risk assess. s that are not being completed while simultaneously conducting their own assessments. employee morale remains the lowest in the federal government. additionally, there are examples of border patrol agents, accepting bribes, these deficiencies cannot continue. based on the finds of the hearings and g.a.o. review, i tout that the department can carry out its core mission of protecting the homeland if the problems persist. these issues of corruption, waste, due pliation and -- coupely case and abuse of power
are symptomatic of flaws in the management. i believe it will take a dedicated team of investigators to identify the root causes and recommend concrete changesful the management review is necessary because the curn management team is not getting the job cone. the d.h.s. accountability act of 2012, as amended, will create an independent, eight-member advisory panel, and appoint legislature and executive branches to improve their abilities and improve efficiency and effective and require an interim report sent to congress one yore after panel's selection with a final report due two years after its inception. the panel will possess subpoena power and the authority to conduct hearings and receive
expert witness testimony. the panel's recommendations will help make d.h.s. a leaner, smarter an more effective organization and ferret out duplicative programs and offices. fellow members, this legislation is our opportunity to take action. i urge you to support the d.h.s. accountability act of 2012. with that, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from mississippi. mr. thompson: i rise in support of h.r. 5913, the d.h.s. accountability act of 2012 and yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. thompson: the bill before the house today would create an independent advisory panel to comprehensively assess and make recommendations regarding the department of homeland security. while there's some question about whether this legislation
is necessary as similar independent initiatives are under way, i appreciate the effort to improve the effectiveness of d.h.s.'s management and will not -- and approve the bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. >> i have no further speakers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi. mr. thompson: i yield three minutes to a ranking member of the committee on homeland security subcommittee on oversight and -- oversight, investigations, and management. mr. keating. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized for three minutes. mr. keating: thank you, ranking member thompson for yielding time and for your leadership on the homeland security committee. i rise in support of h.r. 5913, the department of homeland security accountability act of 2012. as ranking member for the subcommittee of oversight,
investigation, and management, i am a co-sponsor of this measure. this bill gos to the heart of the subcommittee's mandate, ensuring the effective management of the progress of homeland security. ensuring that effectiveness for the department of homeland security is not a partisan matter and should serve as a priority as it is essential to our security and safety in this country. since its inception, the department of homeland security has faced significant management challenges, many of which stem from the very nature of its creation, which was transforming 22 legacy agencies into one attempted -- attempted, cohesive, unified department. the department has come a long way its its inception but more work remains to be done. the consideration of this bill comes at a time when congress is examining cost saving measures to reduce our deficit while ensuring the safety and
well being of our citizens. there's no doubt the department is making positive strides. for example, the department's efficiency review initiative, which is highlighted by vice president biden as a model for all federal agencies, resulted in more than $1 billion in d.h.s. cost avoidance, including $180 million saved by consolidating duplicative software licensing agreement. i'm pleased the secretary has advanced internal measures aimed at reducing waste and fraud. this does not change the fact that a number of d.h.s. activities are still shared by other agencies. in march of 2011, february of 012, g.a.o. identified sex areas where squover lap or unnecessary due public -- duplication exists. when it comes to cybersecurity training and the identification of fraudulent travel document the lines remain blur.
furthermore, despite its management strides, the department addressed deficiencies that resulted this wasting of funds. the department's federal protective service has received over $230 million frafrl agencies. these agencies have not found the f.d.s.'s service adequate or satisfactory so they perform their own assessments as well. this bill will determine instances of waste and abuse through an independent advisory panel and be charged with two million responsibilities to comprehensively access the management related to the department and make recommendations to improve the efficiency of the department. the legislation instructs them to examine five broad categories, the efficiency an effectiveness of management structure and capabilities, whether unnecessary duplication exists, to ensure key homeland
security is recognized. this bipartisan effort will optimize this committee's efforts. i want to thank the bipartisan cooperation on this very important issue to national security and i want to thank the ranking member for yielding his time and for his leadership then committee. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. does the quelt from mississippi yield back? mr. thompson: i yield back and i am prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas has yielded back his time. does the gentleman from mississippi yield back -- mr. thompson: then i'm prepared to close by saying i'm in support of this legislation and i look forward to its adoption. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the l.: -- h.r. 5913 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative,
rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and concur in the senate amendment to h.r. 915. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the -- title of the bill. clip h.r. 915. an act to enhance border security by fostering coordinated efforts among federal, state and local border and law enforcement officials to protect united states border cities an communities from transnational crime including violence associated with drug trafficking, arms struggling, illegal alien trafficking and smuggling, violence and kidnapping along and across the international borders of the united states and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from texas, mr. mccaul, and the gentleman from mississippi, mr. tompson, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas.
mr. mccaul: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. mccaul: i yield myself such time as i may consume. i rise in support of h.r. 915, the jaime zapata border enforcement security task force act, this bill, which will codify additional border security units was named to honor the memory of slain immigration and customs enforcement special agent jaime zapata. in 2011, special agent zapata and his par for the were ambushed on a dangerous stretch of highway in mexico by the ruthless zeta drug cartel. the vehicle they were traveled in was forced off the road by the heavily armed thugs. once the vehicle had come to a stop, the cartel members forced the doors open, fired their
weapons at point-blank range and tried to drag away special agent zapata who fought back and was able to relock the doors. special agent zapata tried to explain to the men that he and special agent avila were u.s. diplomats. the gunman responded to his plea with bullets. special agent zapata heroically drove himself and special agent avila away from the scene and to safety. investigators later found more than 80 individual bullet casings at the scene of the crime. by nothing short of a miracle, special agent avila survived the ordeal. however, jaime zapata did not. border security task force units are comprise odd d.h.s. and other federal, state, and local personnel who work to mitigate threats from drug
trafficking, arms struggling, kidnapping and violence. the experience of personnel from the united states immigration and customs enforcement. united states coast guard and other d.h.s. components as well as other federal agencies, state, he call, and tribal. an when appropriate, foreign law partners. with increasing violence in mexico and the grow regular sourcefulness of the vast criminal networks operating along the border this type of interagency response is critical. the men and women who have selflessly dedicated themselves to protecting our border deserve this protection. jaime zapata paid the ultimate price and i made it a personal mission along with my colleague, mr. cuellar, from texas, to help ensure no more brave men and women are lost to violence along our southwest border. in addition to drug cartels freely moving across the border with drugs, cash, and weapon the growing presence of iran
and hezbollah in latin america are also a threat. we do not have the luxury of sitting by idly while those looking to do us harm continue to enter the united states illegally. i'd like to thank my friend, representative cuellar, for introducing this vitally important piece of bipartisan legislation and i'd like to thank senators lieberman and collins for taking action on this issue. this bill honors special agent zapata by making sure that those who serve as he did have the tools they need to secure the border. i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi. mr. thompson: i rise in support of the senate amendment to h.r. 915, the jaime zapata border enforcement security task force act, and yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. the underlying bill before the
house today would for the first time statutorily authorize and im-- an important border security program, the best program. under best, ice partners with federal, state, and local counterparts to establish cross agency teams to identify, disrupt and dismantle criminal organizations posing significant threats to border security. the program also serves as a model for interagency cooperation, coordination and information sharing which is vital in the post-9/11 environment. i would note that it is appropriate that this bill is named in the memory of hay psi -- jaime zapata, an i.c.e. special agent, killed in the line of duty in mexico while works as part of a best